Two-time American Le Mans Series GTC champ Black Swan Racing has found a new car and a new home for 2013: Tim Pappas and his team will be racing a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 in the SCCA Pirelli World Challenge GT class in 2013.
After two successful years in a Porsche GT3Cup car, Pappas, a Boston real-estate develop and driver, tried his hand in the P2 class, but a couple of damaging accidents sidelined the team after a few races.
Rather than scramble for another P2 ride or return to a class he had dominated, Pappas and Black Swan decided to try something new.
“Black Swan Racing is honored to be a part of the AMG Customer Sports program with their amazing SLS AMG GT3,” said Pappas in a press release. “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.”
Pappas is part of the AMG Customer Sports program, which simplifies the business of racing for this Pro-Am team. Through AMG Customer Sports, Pappas bought a race-ready Mercedes and will receive technical updates, development info, service update information, and streamlined parts ordering—letting Pappas focus on driving, not managing his team.
Uli Fritz, Manager of AMG Customer Sports, said Black Swan was exactly the kind of team the service is designed for:
“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. 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.”
The team will pick up its new car in late February to prepare for the Pirelli World Challenge season opener on the Streets of St. Petersburg, March 23, 2013.
Admission to the two World Challenge races at St. Pete is part of the 2013 IndyCar Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg package. Visit gpstpete.com for ticket information.
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