VLN: Third podium in a row.
The team BLACK FALCON finishes the ninth and final race of the season in their yellow and black Mercedes-AMG GT3 in second place.
Third successive podium finish to round off the 2017 VLN season: Mercedes-AMG Motorsport once again celebrated a Top Three finish in the ninth and final race of the 2017 VLN Endurance Championship contested at the Nürburgring. Two weeks after their P2 in the eighth round of the season, the trio of Hubert Haupt (GER), Erik Johansson (SWE) and Mercedes-AMG brand ambassador Maro Engel (GER) once again took second place, this time in the grand finale on the legendary Nordschleife. The crew of the number 7 Mercedes-AMG GT3 sporting the black and yellow livery of BLACK FALCON were once again on fine form, mounting a charge through the field, just as they had done on their previous outing in the 42nd DMV Münsterlandpokal.
Steady progress: Starting from ninth on the grid, Haupt mastered the changeable track conditions to move up to sixth before he had even reached the NGK chicane, and by the end of the first lap he was in fourth. An early change to slicks paid off, allowing Haupt to hand over to Engel in the lead. In the further course of the four-hour race, the Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing Team was always either in the lead or within striking distance. Johansson drove the final stint, but a short refuelling stop on the penultimate lap meant that the trio had to be content with P2 in the general classification. But victory in the SP9 class had never been in doubt.
In the meantime, the three Mercedes-AMG test cars entered by Uwe Alzen Automotive, HTP Motorsport and BLACK FALCON successfully continued the test and development work on the Mercedes-AMG GT4. There is a saying in German: “Jeder lobt, was Nürburgring erprobt” (If it can perform on the Nürburgring, it can perform anywhere). With that in mind, the three teams supported by Mercedes-AMG works drivers Thomas Jäger (GER), Maximilian Götz (GER) and Adam Christodoulou (GBR) gained important insights to further advance the development of the new GT4 racing car from Affalterbach.
Job done! Thanks to Lewis Hamilton’s victory at the United States Formula 1 Grand Prix, Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport secured their fourth consecutive Constructors’ World Championship. Having now scored 575 points and established a 147-point lead over Ferrari, the team can no longer be caught in the final three races of the season. Mercedes join McLaren, Ferrari and Red Bull as one of only four teams to have won the Formula 1 Constructors’ World Championship four times in a row.