Mercedes’ new AMG GT2, its most powerful customer racer yet, is set to debut at the 2023 Hankook 24H BARCELONA with 2017 event winner NM Racing Team.
Words – James Gent
Images – Mercedes-Benz Media
The “most powerful homologated race car” in Mercedes-AMG’s 12-year customer racing program – the new AMG GT2 – is set to make its 24H SERIES debut at the Hankook 24H BARCELONA.
Two examples have been entered for the event by the NM Racing Team, the Barcelona-based outfit that took overall victory at the TCE-only Hankook 24H BARCELONA back in 2017 (see page 72). The Spanish team was back on the event’s GT4-class podium the following year, securing the win on both occasions with its now retired Ginetta G55.
While NM Racing has been a Mercedes customer since late 2019, competing regularly in the GT4 European Series with a brace of AMG GT4s, the 2023 Hankook 24H BARCELONA will be first endurance test for the team’s brand-new AMG GT2.
Officially unveiled last December, the AMG GT2 slots neatly between Mercedes’ official GT3 and GT4 track models. While the former “is increasingly being raced by professional drivers” and the latter is an entry into the world of GT racing, the new GT2 caters specifically to “ambitious amateur drivers in particular.”
Unlike the GT3, which relies more on aerodynamics and ferocious braking power for its performance, the GT2 instead provides a more accessible aerodynamic package for its gentlemen competitors. Oh, and a lot more power!
The GT2 is powered by a front-mounted 4-litre, biturbo V8, a race-modified version of the example found in Mercedes’ road-going, 730hp AMG GT Black Series. This produces “up to 707hp” and “up to 800Nm (around 590lb ft)” in factory tune, a notable hike over the 550hp produced by the GT3’s 6.3-litre V8. Power from the biturbo V8 is sent to the 18-inch AMG light alloys by a six-speed, sequential racing gearbox.
Though boasting a more conservative aerodynamic package compared with the GT3, “every detail is aimed at performance.” The GT2 bodywork boasts a wide carbon bonnet with large air intake, and carbon wings, complete with air-deflecting louvres, on the front axle. The back meanwhile is dominated by a newly-developed, single level rear wing, mounted via ‘swan neck.’ Beneath all this lies an aluminium spaceframe chassis, configurable motorsport shock absorbers and adjustable anti-roll bars, and, as part of the “pioneering safety concept” borrowed from the GT3, latest generation anti-lock racing brakes and multi-adjustable traction control.
The main elements of the cockpit include a new multi-function steering wheel – developed in tandem with sim racing experts Cube Controls – and a more user-friendly dashboard system that comes equipped with a high-resolution screen. It’s hoped the latter will make operating and adjusting everything easier whilst racing at night.
Joining Audi, Porsche, KTM, Lamborghini, Brabham and, latterly, Maserati in SRO’s new GT2 division, the Mercedes-AMG GT2, after a comprehensive test session, made its competitive debut at this year’s Nürburgring 24 Hours. Two examples were entered in the ‘SP-X’ category, one of which was for the eponymous team of three-time Hankook 24H DUBAI winner Hubert Haupt. The 2023 Hankook 24H BARCELONA will be the second 24-hour test for the GT2, which will compete in the GTX class against standings leader RD Signs – Siauliai racing team, series staple Vortex V8, VDS Racing Adventures’ bespoke MARC II V8, and the KTM X-BOW of reigning GTX Middle East Cup winner, Razoon - More Than Racing.