Tales from the paddock: Mercedes-AMG Motorsport celebrates its first championship titles in 2020

Oct 21, 2020

As Formula One prepares to revisit Portugal, Mercedes-AMG Motorsport chalks up its first championship titles of the season

  • This is what happened: Results and facts
  • News from the Mercedes-AMG Motorsport teams
  • Social media news: What’s new online?

This is what happened: Results and facts

  • ADAC GT Masters: Maro Engel and Luca Stolz finish second in Sunday’s race at the Red Bull Ring
  • ADAC GT4 Germany: Jan Marschalkowski and Hendrik Still on the podium as runners-up in the first race at Spielberg
  • DTM Trophy: P3 in Race 1 at Zolder is enough for Tim Heinemann to wrap up the championship

News snippets

Portimão, here we come! This coming weekend, Formula One returns to Portugal after a 24-year absence. Between 1958 and 1996, a total of 16 Portuguese Grands Prix were contested - one at Monsanto, two in Porto and 13 at Estoril. Between 23 and 25 October, the senior class of motorsport will be making its first ever appearance on the 4.653 km circuit of Autódromo Internacional do Algarve at Portimão. In Sunday’s race, the drivers will be covering 66 laps, equivalent to a distance of 306.82 km. The most successful drivers in previous Portuguese Grands Prix have been Alain Prost and Nigel Mansell, with three wins each. In the team stakes, Williams leads the list of winners with six victories to McLaren’s three. The event is a novelty for the Mercedes works team which has never before competed in a Portuguese Grand Prix. Mercedes-Benz-powered cars fielded by Sauber and McLaren in the mid-90s did not come away with any trophies from Estoril.

Podium finish improves title chances for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport in the ADAC GT Masters: A P2 at the Red Bull Ring for the Toksport WRT duo of Maro Engel and Luca Stolz (both GER) has brought them back into championship contention. In Sunday’s race, the 200th in the history of the series, the crew of the number 22 Mercedes-AMG GT3 originally took the chequered flag in third position. They were subsequently elevated to the runner-up spot after the previous incumbents were handed a retrospective penalty. This fifth podium finish of the season has not only lifted Engel and Stolz to third place in the championship standings but also cut the deficit on the leaders to six points. The title chase has consequently opened up yet again, with four races still to be contested at the Lausitzring and Motorsport Arena Oschersleben. The Toksport duo had already scored valuable points for a P10 in Saturday’s race. The KNAUS Team HTP-WINWARD pairing of Raffaele Marciello (ITA) and Philip Ellis (SUI) in in the number 48 Mercedes-AMG GT3 also made it into the Top Ten twice, finishing sixth and tenth.

In the ADAC GT4 Germany races held at the same venue, Jan Marschalkowski and Hendrik Still (both GER, Team Zakspeed) finished second on the podium on Saturday. As a result, Marschalkowski now leads the Junior classification of the series. A P8 and a P6 were enough for Julien Apothéloz (SUI) and Luca-Sandro Trefz (GER) in the number 48 Mercedes-AMG GT4 fielded by MANN-FILTER Team HTP-WINWARD to defend their lead in the overall drivers’ standings.

Title win in the International GT Open: Jens Liebhauser and Florian Scholze (both GER) of GetSpeed Performance posted two victories in the Am class of the International GT Open at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps to secure the title with races to spare. The crew of the number 44 Mercedes-AMG GT3 have won no fewer than seven races in their class this season.

Customer Racing teams SPS automotive performance and JP Motorsport also made good use of the event to prepare for the Total 24 Hours of Spa endurance classic next weekend. For Nick Foster (AUS) and Valentin Pierburg (GER) in the number 20 SPS automotive performance car, it was a successful dress rehearsal, with two sixth places in the general classification and two second places in the Pro-Am class. JP Motorsport drivers Christian Klien (AUT) and Patryk Krupinski (POL) also made it onto the podium on Sunday with a third place in the Pro-Am class.

In the GT Cup Open Europe classification, the number 60 Mercedes-AMG GT4 of Sports & You driven by António Coimbra and Luis Silva (both POR) finished third overall in the first race, followed by a class P2 in the second race.

Podium and class wins in France and Italy: In the second race of the GT4 France event at the Circuit d’Albi, the AKKA ASP pairing of Jean-Luc Beaubelique and Jim Pla (both FRA) finished second overall and first in the Pro-Am class. In the Silver Cup, Customer Racing teams AKKA ASP (#88) and CD Sport (#2) took third place in the first and second race respectively. AKKA ASP Team also celebrated another class podium for third place in the Am classification posted by the crew of the number 53 car.

Nova Race achieved two class victories with their Mercedes-AMG GT4 in the two races of the Italian GT Championship at Monza. In Race 1, Francesco Massimo De Luca and Luca Segù (both ITA) in the number 227 car ascended the top rung of the podium in the GT4 Pro class, while in Race 2, it was the turn of Luca Magnoni (ITA) to lift the winner’s trophy in the GT4-AM classification. The third win of the weekend came in the GT3-AM class and was contributed by Stefano Pezzucchi (ITA) in the number 22 Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Krypton Motorsport.

The Customer Racing teams went some way towards boosting Mercedes-AMG’s challenge for manufacturers’ title with three Top Ten results in the two-hour race of the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge, held in the context of the Motul Petit Le Mans at the Road Atlanta circuit. Eric Foss and Jeff Mosing (both USA) in the number 56 Mercedes-AMG GT4 finished fourth, directly ahead of fifth-placed Nico Bastian (GER) and Russell Ward (USA) in the number 4 fielded by Winward Racing. Jim Cox and Dylan Murry (both USA) of Riley Motorsports finished ninth but are still in with a chance of winning the championship with a strong third place in the drivers’ and team standings.

Tim Heinemann clinches championship title in the DTM Trophy: By the end of Saturday’s DTM Trophy race in Zolder, Belgium, one of the season’s prizes had already been claimed: Tim Heinemann is the newly crowned champion of the DTM Trophy, a competition which is still in its inaugural season. Third place was enough for the 22-year-old German who drives the number 46 Mercedes-AMG GT4 of HP Racing International to wrap up the title early after six victories and two second places. And the prospects that Mercedes-AMG Motorsport might also take the runner-up spot in the championship are looking good: Jan Kisiel (POL) of Leipert Motorsport consolidated his second place in the drivers’ championship with a P2 in Sunday’s race. The DTM Trophy finale is scheduled to take place at the Hockenheimring on the weekend of 6th - 8th November.

Title wins in the China Endurance Championship: No fewer than two Customer Racing teams celebrated a title win at the China Endurance Championship event in Ningbo. Zang Kan and Da Wie (both CHN) in the number 108 Toro Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 crossed the finish line in third place at the end of the five-hour race, securing the GT3 championship for their team. Xie An and Wang Hao (both CHN) in the number 21 car took the GT4 victory, which was enough for Phantom Pro Racing to win both the GT4 team and the GT4 drivers’ championships. With the 300Plus Motorsport #555 and the number 89 sister car of Phantom Pro Racing finishing second and third, it was a podium lockout for the Mercedes-AMG GT4.

Social Media News

#TrackGuide: We just couldn’t wait to get a first glimpse of Portimão, so together with Esteban and PETRONAS Motorsports, we fired up the simulator to put in our first laps of the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve.

Watch video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=LY0lHitdPss

#GuessTheGP: Shall we play a guessing game? The rules are very simple: listen to the pit radio, guess the race - and be a winner! Our video shows how Lewis and Valtteri fared in the Grand Prix guessing game...

Watch video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3l7vU8_GdM

#JobIn60Seconds: In the latest episode of our series ‘My job in 60 seconds’, none other than Valtteri Bottas reveals how he spends a typical race weekend.

Watch video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=HItq1xE6FSw

#RaceDebrief: A look back at the Eifel GP: James Vowles explains why Lewis’s steering wheel moved slightly, what caused Valtteri’s retirement and how tense he felt watching the duel on the first lap.

Watch video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=kO8mfJeI4Eg

#22 Mercedes-AMG GT3, Toksport WRT
Maro Engel (left) and Luca Stolz, Toksport WRT
#48 Mercedes-AMG GT3, KNAUS Team HTP-WINWARD
#44 Mercedes-AMG GT3, GetSpeed Performance
#20 Mercedes-AMG GT3, SPS automotive performance
#88 Mercedes-AMG GT3, JP Motorsport
#13 Mercedes-AMG GT3, AKM Motorsport
#13 Mercedes-AMG GT4, Team Zakspeed
Hendrik Still (links) and Jan Marschalkowski, Team Zakspeed
#8 Mercedes-AMG GT4, DLV-Team Schütz Motorsport
#60 Mercedes-AMG GT4, Sports & You
#15 Mercedes-AMG GT4, NM Racing Team
#56 Mercedes-AMG GT4, Murillo Racing
#4 Mercedes-AMG GT4, Winward Racing
#35, #65, #57 Mercedes-AMG GT4: Riley Motorsports, Murillo Racing, Winward Racing
#10 Mercedes-AMG GT4, LAP Motorsports