More than a dozen Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Customer Racing teams across three sports car racing series compete in dual IMSA and SRO America events this weekend. Mercedes-AMG customer entries are set for both the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge races at Road America, as well as the SRO GT America powered by AWS doubleheader at the inaugural Music City Grand Prix on the streets of Nashville this Saturday and Sunday.
Eight Mercedes-AMG teams are entered for the IMSA SportsCar Weekend, featuring Sunday's two-hour and 40-minute WeatherTech Championship race at 1:40 p.m. CDT on the four-mile Road America circuit. Saturday's IMSA highlight is the Road America 120 Michelin Pilot Challenge two- hour race, which is scheduled to start at 4:35 p.m. CDT.
Both IMSA races will be broadcast live on TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold, while international viewers can watch free live streaming of each race at www.IMSA.tv. The WeatherTech Championship race can also be seen Sunday night in same-day coverage on the NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) from 8 – 11 p.m. EDT.
At the same time IMSA competes in Wisconsin, five other Mercedes-AMG customer entries will be taking it to the streets more than 600 miles away in Nashville. The Mercedes-AMG entries for the GT America doubleheader represent an event-high 20% of the capacity 25-car field.
The twin 40-minute GT America sprints on the 2.17-mile Music City Grand Prix circuit are scheduled for Saturday at 7:25 p.m. CDT and Sunday at 2:45 p.m. CDT. The races feature classes for both Mercedes- AMG GT3 and Mercedes-AMG GT4 entries.
A combined four Mercedes-AMG GT3 teams compete at Road America and Nashville, with the new Gilbert Korthoff Motorsports No. 32 entry of co- drivers Guy Cosmo and Shane Lewis carrying the Mercedes-AMG flag in the IMSA WeatherTech Championship race, following an impressive series debut last month.
The Gilbert Korthoff team, with Cosmo and Lewis at the wheel, finished seventh in the WeatherTech GT Daytona (GTD) class in its first IMSA race at Watkins Glen in early July.
A three-strong Mercedes-AMG GT3 entry from DXDT Racing is set for Nashville in GT America's top-tier SRO3 class for GT3-specification cars.
George Kurtz secured both the overall and SRO3 division victories with a sweep of both rounds in the debut weekend of the series at Sonoma Raceway last March. Similar results this weekend for Kurtz and the No. 04 DXDT Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 team would renew their championship pursuit with the second half of the season underway.
Kurtz teams with CJ Moses and team owner and driver David Askew in DXDT's three-car Mercedes-AMG GT3 entry.
Moses drives the No. 58 DXDT Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 in Nashville after securing a pair of top-five SRO3 finishes in his first full weekend of GT America competition one race ago at VIRginia International Raceway (VIR).
Askew drives his familiar No. 63 DXDT Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 in what will be his first GT America start and his first career street race in any category.
A combined nine Mercedes-AMG GT4 teams will be in action at Road America and Nashville, with seven of the entries headed for the IMSA race in Wisconsin.
Leading the way is the No. 56 Murillo Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4 team and co-drivers Jeff Mosing and Eric Foss, following their milestone victory three weeks ago at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut.
The Lime Rock win was the first career Michelin Pilot Challenge Grand Sport (GS) class win for the Murillo team and drivers and the first victory of the 2021 season for the Mercedes-AMG GT4 in Pilot Challenge competition.
Mosing and Foss compete alongside the sister No. 65 Murillo Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4. The entry is co-driven by Mosing's brother, Brent Mosing, and his co-driver Kenny Murillo, who fills in this weekend for regular No. 65 co-driver Tim Probert.
Another two-car Mercedes-AMG GT4 Michelin Pilot entry comes from Winward Racing. The team fields the No. 4 Winward Racing Mercedes- AMG GT4 for Russell Ward and Indy Dontje. The team's No. 57 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4 is co-driven by Ward's father Bryce Ward and his co-driver Alec Udell.
Winward's best result this season is a third-place finish by Bryce Ward and Udell in the No. 57 last May at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Both Winward entries and the No. 11 FCP Euro Mercedes-AM GT4 joined the Murillo No. 56 as contenders in the recent Lime Rock race.
Taking over from teammate Nate Vincent, Michael Hurczyn led 20 laps in the FCP Euro No. 11 as the team and drivers rolled the dice on a fuel- stretching strategy. The gamble came up just short - Hurczyn was running sixth in GS on the final lap when the No. 11 ran out of fuel two turns from the finish – but the FCP team and drivers still turned in their most competitive performance of the season, despite the ninth-place finish.
After an encouraging IMSA debut in the four-hour Pilot Challenge race in late June at Watkins Glen, Capstone Motorsports makes its second IMSA race start this weekend at Road America. Kris Wilson and Gary Ferrera – who co-drove in the four-hour race with team owner John Allen – share the No. 60 Capstone Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT4 in Saturday's two-hour race.
The Road America Michelin Pilot race marks the fourth Mercedes-AMG Motorsport customer team debut in the last five IMSA races. Following first-time IMSA starts for FCP Euro at Mid-Ohio, and Capstone and Gilbert Korthoff at the respective Watkins Glen races, CB Motorsports makes its first start with Mercedes-AMG this weekend.
Similar to FCP Euro's path, CB steps up to the bigger GS category after competing in the competitive but lower level TCR class. Team drivers Mark Kwamme and Trenton Estep make the move up the ladder with CB, with an eye on competing in the remaining rounds of this year's GS championship.
On the GT America front, RENNtech Motorsports brings its pair of Mercedes-AMG GT4 teams to Nashville to compete in the GT America GT4 class.
Ross Chouest drives his No. 89 RENNtech Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT4 alongside teammate Chris Cagnazzi in the No. 39 RENNtech Mercedes-AMG GT4.
Chouest won the GT4 class in the opening GT America race at Circuit of The Americas (COTA) last March, in what was only his second weekend of SRO America competition. He backed the win up with a second place GT4 finish in Sunday's GT America final round at COTA.
Making his Mercedes-AMG, RENNtech and SRO debut, Cagnazzi joined race winner Chouest in GT America victory lane at COTA with a third place GT4 class finish. Cagnazzi backed up the COTA podium with two more third-place GT America GT4 finishes in the most recent SRO America race weekend at VIR.
David Askew, Driver – No. 63 DXDT Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3: "I'm looking forward to the challenge of racing in the GT America powered by AWS race at Nashville. The championship looks very competitive, as my two teammates George and CJ know all too well. Having two races on a street circuit multiplies that challenge even more, but this is something I've always wanted to try. Street racing puts a premium on finding the limit of the car, the track and the driver, and the key is having those all work together in an arena where you can't make mistakes. I'm personally excited about the opportunity."
George Kurtz, Driver – No. 04 DXDT Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3: "It is always exciting to race on a street circuit. That adds to the level of excitement we're all feeling ahead of this new event in Nashville. On the track, I'm sure it will be a completely different focus, with a premium on driving smart and not making mistakes. We have seen that this is a very competitive championship so everyone – driver, crew and engineers – will have to execute to the best of our abilities in a new environment."
CJ Moses, Driver – No. 58 DXDT Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3: "Street- circuit racing is one of the most exciting aspects of motorsports. I've certainly enjoyed the street races I've done. The thing I like about it is that everything has to be as close to perfect as possible. There is no margin for error, and I think we are going into Nashville with good momentum from our weekend in Virginia. The circuit should be fantastic, and the weekend will be one of the most dynamic of the year. I can't wait."
Kris Wilson, Driver – No. 60 Capstone Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT4: "I'm looking forward to our second IMSA weekend with our Capstone Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT4. Watkins Glen was a lot of fun and educational. We were able to get quite a few reps with our pit stops in the four-hour race. We are now ready to be competitive, and Road America is a great venue to start with, much like The Glen. Road America is one of my favorite tracks, and Gary and I just did a test there a couple of weeks ago since he had never been here before. He is drinking from a fire hose right now with these tracks. Road America and The Glen are 'big boy tracks,' especially if you have never been there. Weather and fuel are always factors at Road America with the track being four mile in length. It is always a fuel strategy race, which will be a new element for our team, and sometimes it can be raining on what part of the track and completely dry at other parts!"
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