Tales from the paddock: Title celebrations in Europe and a return to the USA

Oct 19, 2022

As Mercedes-AMG Motorsport celebrates its latest titles in GT racing, the F1 teams prepare for the next challenge, this time in North America.

  • 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

  • British GT Championship: Ian Loggie and RAM Racing win Drivers' and Team Titles in season finale at Donington Park
  • International GT Open: A win and a P2 for the Mercedes-AMG GT3 in Barcelona
  • Super Taikyu: Runner-up spot for the Mercedes-AMG GT3 in the three-hour race at Okayama International Circuit
  • GT4 France: Top Three finish for the Mercedes-AMG GT4 in Race 2 at Circuit Paul Ricard

News snippets

Austin, here we come:The 19th round of the 2022 Formula One season takes the premier class of motorsport to the USA for the second time this year. This weekend, the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, will be hosting its tenth US Grand Prix. The 5.513 km COTA is one of eleven venues in the United States that have staged the race - no other country in the world has shared the event out more liberally. In 2023, the planned race in Las Vegas will add to that total. Since the US Grand Prix returned to the F1 racing calendar in 2012, there have been five different winners: Lewis Hamilton (five times), Valtteri Bottas, Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen (once each). The Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team has triumphed on a more regular basis at Austin than any other team, with a tally of six victories. Last year, however, pole position and victory both went to Red Bull driver Max Verstappen. The absolute lap record at COTA is held by Valtteri in a time of 1:32.029 set in 2019, while the fastest race lap so far (1:36.169) was clocked by Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc in the same year.

Title joy for RAM Racing and Ian Loggie at the British GT season finale:Last weekend, the tradition-steeped Donington Park Circuit in the English East Midlands was the venue for the British GT Championship finale. In the ninth and final race, title favourite Ian Loggie (GBR) in the number 6 Mercedes-AMG GT3 secured the drivers' championship (Pro-Am drivers' title included) plus the team title for RAM Racing. In a race marked by collisions and multiple safety car deployments, Loggie partnered by Jules Gounon (FRA) consolidated his top place in the standings with a P2 finish. An uncharacteristic excursion into the gravel for the Scotsman at the start of the race had rekindled an element of suspense in the title race. Over the course of the two-hour race, however, the Anglo-French duo successfully battled their way through to the front. It is the first time in the 30-year history of British GT that a Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing outfit has won the team championship.

Schiller and Al Zubair win Saturday's International GT Open race in Barcelona:As is now customary, the last fixture on the International GT Open calendar was hosted by the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Al Faisal Al Zubair (OMA) and Fabian Schiller (GER) driving the number 77 Mercedes-AMG GT3 won Saturday's race on what was Al Zubair's first outing in a GetSpeed Performance cockpit. The duo started from pole position and stayed out in front for the rest of the race, despite the ten-second handicap imposed on guest starters in the GT Open. In the second race, another GetSpeed car was on impressive form: Sébastien Baud (FRA) and Steve Jans (LUX) in the #911 GT3 took the runner-up spot and booked third place in the overall team standings.

Alexander Hrachowina and Martin Konrad (both AUT) in the number 25 Mercedes-AMG GT3 of MANN-FILTER Team LANDGRAF were delighted with two spectacular victories in the Am classification. It was the seventh and eighth class victory of the season for the Austrian driver pairing, who had already been confirmed as title winners in this category on the previous weekend. There was also reason to celebrate in the Pro-Am class, where Florian Scholze (GER) and Alain Valente (SUI) in the number 33 of Team GT claimed the runner-up spot in Sunday's race. Adam Christodoulou (GBR) and Reema Juffali (KSA) in the #18 Theeba Motorsport finished third in both races.

Team 5ZIGEN wrap up ST-Z Japanese Super Taikyu championship ahead of time:At Okayama International Circuit, in the sixth of seven Japanese Super Taikyu races, P4 was enough for Toshihiro Kaneishi, Kakunoshin Ohta and Ryuichiro Otsuka (all JPN) in the #500 Mercedes-AMG GT4 of Team 5ZIGEN to clinch the ST-Z class title. Going into the season finale, the trio sharing the number 888 Mercedes-AMG GT3 fielded by Grid Motorsports are also still in with a chance of winning the ST-X class title. Martin Berry (AUS), Shinichi Takagi (JPN), Shaun Thong (HKG) and Daisuke Yamawaki (JPN) finished the weekend in fourth place. Second place went to the #23 Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Team TKRI. First in the ST-Q class at Mimasaka were Shintaro Kawabata, Ryo Ogawa and Riki Tanioka (all JPN) in the number 3 Endless Sports Mercedes-AMG GT4. The championships in the other classes will be decided at the season finale in Suzuka on the weekend of 26 - 27 November.

Acclaim for NM Racing at the GT4 France season finale:Driving the #188 Mercedes-AMG GT4 of NM Racing Team in the final two rounds of the season at Circuit Paul Ricard, Stanislav Safronov and Aleksandr Vaintrub (both FIA) took first and third in the Am classification. Meanwhile, Hugo Chevalier and Enzo Joulié (both FRA) in the number 87 AKKODIS ASP car narrowly missed out on victory in the second race of the weekend, having to content themselves with second place. The AKKODIS ASP team thus finished the season in second place in the Silver classification.

Father-son duo win Rookie Cup in the South Island Endurance Championship:In the final race of the South Island Endurance Series at Levels International Motor Raceway in Timaru, Paul Pedersen, 58, and his 34-year-old son Anthony (both NZL) in the number 3 Mercedes-AMG GT3 secured third place. For Team Mach One Engineering, the result was enough to deliver the Rookie Cup to the most successful of the newcomer outfits. The Mag & Turbo duo of Hayden Knighton and Kane Lawson (both NZL) in the number 89 Mercedes-AMG GT3 crossed the finish line in fourth place to win the newly inaugurated Michelin Am Cup.

Social Media News

#F1RaceDebrief:Before heading off to the US Grand Prix, we take another look at the Japanese GP in Suzuka with Andrew Shovlin who answers the most important questions about the weather, red flags, double stacking and much more besides in our Akkodis F1 Race Debrief.

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

Al Faisal Al Zubair and Fabian Schiller, #77 Mercedes-AMG GT3, GetSpeed Performance
Ian Loggie and Jules Gounon, #6 Mercedes-AMG GT3, RAM Racing
#3 Mercedes-AMG GT4, Endless Sports
#911 Mercedes-AMG GT3, GetSpeed Performance
#6 Mercedes-AMG GT3, RAM Racing
Ian Loggie and Jules Gounon, #6 Mercedes-AMG GT3, RAM Racing
#20 Mercedes-AMG GT3, 2 Seas Motorsport
#87 Mercedes-AMG GT4, Akkodis ASP
#77 Mercedes-AMG GT3, GetSpeed Performance
#33 Mercedes-AMG GT3, Mach One Engineering
#89 Mercedes-AMG GT3, Mag & Turbo
#500 Mercedes-AMG GT4, Team 5ZIGEN
#188 Mercedes-AMG GT4, NM Racing Team