Black Swan Racing announced that it will contest the 2013 Pirelli World Challenge GT Class Championship with a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3. The SLS AMG GT3 is a purpose-built racing car, based on the dynamic, gull-winged SLS AMG road car, and has yet to race in the U.S.
Tim Pappas will continue as both driver and owner, alongside several members of Black Swan Racing who will continue on with the team's sixth year of professional competition. The team is a two-time class champion in the American Le Mans Series.
For Pappas, the opportunity to help usher in a new chapter of Mercedes-Benz AMG competition in North America is a welcome one. “Black Swan Racing is honored to be a part of the AMG Customer Sports program with their amazing SLS AMG GT3,” stated Pappas. “Ever since driving the SLS AMG GT3 in the 2011 Dubai 24 Hour race, I have tried to find a series to campaign this car in the USA. I am very excited that the Pirelli World Challenge has embraced the FIA GT3 specification cars for their GT class.
"These cars are the natural fit for this series, and a fantastic option for a team like Black Swan. We don't want to build our own cars, nor spend time figuring out how to develop a home-built racecar. There are now 14 manufacturers that are building to this spec, which is impressive and a bold statement about the future of this class. Plus, Europe has enjoyed extremely large GT3 fields, close racing, and fan appreciation for the class. Pirelli World Challenge will be a spectacular place to be in 2013 and I hope to be in the running for the championship with the SLS AMG GT3.”
For Uli Fritz, manager of AMG Customer Sports, Black Swan is a great fit for the brand's move into Pirelli World Challenge.
”We are happy to welcome Black Swan Racing in the AMG Customer Sports program. It is a great opportunity to enter the U.S. market with such an experienced team and to add North America to the list of continents the SLS AMG GT3 is racing in," he said. "The U.S. market is very important to the AMG brand and we are looking forward to see the SLS AMG GT3 perform on the challenging race tracks around the country.”
Black Swan Racing will take delivery of its SLS AMG GT3 at a three-day test in Portimao, Portugal, on Feb. 23. From there, the car will be flown to Boston for final preparations before its debut at the Pirelli World Challenge season opener in St. Petersburg on March 23.