Tales from the paddock: A podium in Montreal and four victories in the general classification at Virginia International Raceway

Tales from the paddock: A podium in Montreal and four victories in the general classification at Virginia International Raceway

Podium finish in the Canadian Grand Prix
The F1 teams and drivers were back in Montreal last weekend for the Canadian Grand Prix. In a qualifying session made difficult by challenging weather conditions, Lewis Hamilton and George Russell booked P4 and P5, which ultimately became P3 and P4 after penalties. Lewis and George both got off to a strong start. After Lewis leapfrogged the Aston Martin of Fernando Alonso to take second place, George also began putting pressure on the Spaniard. Unfortunately, George’s charge came to an abrupt end when he brushed against the wall at Turn 9 and sustained damage to his car. He was able to continue, but dropped to the back of the field. From there he fought his way up to P8 as the race progressed, but eventually had to retire his car due to a front brake wear issue. Lewis was overtaken by Alonso on Lap 22 but subsequently stayed on the Aston Martin’s tail. After Lewis’s second pit stop on Lap 40, he returned to the track on Medium tyres, five seconds behind in third. He steadily reduced the gap to the Spaniard until the chequered flag, but in the end had to settle for third place. It was the fourth podium for the team this season and the third for Lewis, the others having come in the Australian and Spanish Grands Prix. With eight of the season’s races now out of the way, the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team occupies second place in the Constructors’ World Championship on 167 points, 13 ahead of Aston Martin. The next race on the calendar is the Austrian Grand Prix at Spielberg (30 June – 2 July).

Why Pride Month is important to us
June is Pride Month. The focus is on acceptance, equality and celebration of the LGBTQ+ community. It is a reminder that the members of the LGBTQ+ community can be found in all walks of life and that differences should be respected. It is important to us as a team that all team members feel welcome, safe and able to be true to themselves at our factories in Brackley and Brixworth. The Pride Star will again be prominently displayed in June as a symbol of our commitment to supporting and celebrating the LGBTQ+ community and raising awareness of what Pride Month is all about. “The LGBTQ+ community is underrepresented in our industry,” says Hiran Odedra, Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team. “We continuously strive towards creating and maintaining a culture of inclusion all day, every day.”

Four victories in the general classification at Virginia International Raceway
There were two races in each of the three series being contested at Virginia International Raceway last weekend – the GT World Challenge America, the GT America and the GT4 America. Both 90-minute rounds of the GT World Challenge America were won by Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing teams. In Saturday’s race, Kenton Koch (USA) and Daniel Morad (CAN) driving the number 9 TR3 Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 emerged victorious, while Colin Braun and George Kurtz (both USA) took third place in the number 4 car of Crowdstrike by Riley. On Sunday, the two cars swapped positions as the #04 finished first and the #09 third. In the GT America, too, both wins went to Mercedes-AMG. On Saturday, Todd Treffert (USA) driving the number 41 Mercedes-AMG GT3 fielded by CRP Racing finished ahead of fellow American George Kurtz in the number 4 Crowdstrike by Riley. Another one-two result followed on Sunday, with Memo Gidley (USA) in the #101 of TKO Motorsports taking the win ahead of runner-up Jason Daskalos (USA) in the #27 of CRP Racing. The GT4 America also resulted in a podium for the brand: Michai Stephens (USA) and Jesse Webb (CAN) in the #34 Mercedes-AMG GT4 of Conquest Racing / JMF Motorsports took third place in Sunday’s race.

News snippets: Results and Facts & Social Media News

Nürburgring Endurance Series:
Haupt Racing Team won the SP-X class in the fourth round of the 2023 Nürburgring Endurance Series, the 46th RCM DMV Grenzlandrennen. Ralf Aron (EST) and Thomas Jäger (GER) in the #52 Mercedes-AMG GT2 crossed the line in eleventh place overall. The number 45 GT3 of CP Racing finished the four-hour race third in the SP9 Pro-Am classification.

GT World Challenge Asia:
The second GT World Challenge Asia event of the 2023 campaign was hosted by Fuji Speedway. Prince Abdul Bakar Ibrahim (MAS) and Luca Stolz (GER) won Sunday’s race in somewhat bizarre circumstances. The Triple Eight JMR duo sharing the cockpit of the number 88 Mercedes-AMG GT3 actually crossed the finish line in 14th. It then emerged that all 13 cars in front had disregarded race control’s instruction to drive through the pit lane during a safety car deployment. Because their opponents were each handed a 30-second penalty for this transgression, the #88 was retrospectively awarded the victory. Going into the third round at Suzuka, Ibrahim and Stolz now occupy second place in the overall drivers’ standings, just one point behind the current leaders.

British GT Championship:
The Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing outfits delivered a one-two-three finish in the third round of the British GT Championship at Snetterton. RAM Racing’s John Ferguson (IRL) and Raffaele Marciello (SUI) won the second race of the weekend ahead of the Mercedes drivers of 2 Seas Motorsport. The number 4 car driven by Jonny Adam and James Cottingham (both GBR) finished second, while their team-mates Jules Gounon (AND) and Ian Loggie (GBR) in the #1 car took the remaining podium spot.

International GT Open:
The Hungaroring just outside Budapest was the venue for the third event of the 2023 International GT Open last weekend. In the first of the races on the historic Hungarian circuit, Al Faisal Al Zubair (OMA) and Fabian Schiller (GER) in the #77 Mercedes-AMG GT3 put in a flawless performance that earned the Al Manar Racing by GetSpeed duo a well-deserved victory. In the same race, Heiko Neumann and Timo Rumpfkeil (both GER) in the number 65 GT3 of Team Motopark won the AM classification.

GT4 France:
Sharing the cockpit of the number 64 Vic’Team Mercedes-AMG GT4, Olivier Jouffret and Eric Tremoulet (both FRA) dominated their class in the third round of the GT4 France season. By winning the Pro-Am category in both of the two one-hour races at the Circuit de Dijon-Prenois, they have climbed to second place in the Pro-Am drivers’ standings.

ADAC GT Masters:
Haupt Racing will start the second race weekend of the ADAC GT Masters at the Norisring (8/9 July) with a change of driver line-up. Petru Umbrarescu (ROU) will be partnered by Mercedes-AMG Performance driver Maximilian Götz (GER) in the number 3 Mercedes-AMG GT3 for some of the forthcoming races. The 2021 DTM champion, who already has a rather full diary which includes entries in the GT World Challenge Europe and Asia, has now committed himself to competing at even more events. Götz has been active in the ADAC GT Masters over several years in the past. In 2012, he and racing partner Sebastian Asch (GER) actually won the drivers’ championship in this prestigious sprint competition.

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