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Erebus Mercedes on pole for 2014 Bathurst 12 Hour

Maro Engel, Erebus Motorsport Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3

Maro Engel has claimed pole position for the 2014 Bathurst 12 Hour in this afternoon’s Class A-only Qualifying 3 session with an outstanding lap time of 2:03.8586. Engel’s time in the #1 Erebus Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 was 0.0835s faster than Mika Salo’s provisional pole time from this morning.

That means Engel now holds the fastest recorded lap for a closed roof car around Mount Panorama and along with his Erebus teammates they become the inaugural winners of the Allan Simonsen Pole Position Trophy.

Starting from P3 tomorrow will be the #37 McLaren 12C GT3 which went 2:04.0006 at the hands of Shane van Gisbergen. Alongside the McLaren will be the #63 Erebus Mercedes which couldn’t quite pull off a late charge for pole, when Will Davison was the last car across the line, setting a time of 2:04.2563.

Rick Kelly’s 2:04.7643 lap set during the morning session was enough to put the #32 Nissan GTR on the third row. A dispute over technical regulations saw the #23 Lamborghini Gallardo forced to change to 2013-spec and move from Class B up to Class A. The team spent the morning session making the required changes, mostly to do with aerodynamics. David Russell returned to the track in the afternoon to top the time sheets in Qualifying 2 and his time of 2:05.0320 secured P6 on the starting grid.

You could throw a blanket over the next three cars, all Audi R8 LMS Ultras. The Audis posted their fastest times in the cooler morning conditions, with the #9 Network Clothing R8 recording a 2:05.5919 lap; the #3 Phoenix Racing R8 was desperately close with a time of 2:05.5946 and the #25 United Autosports R8 went 2:05.7175.

The top 10 is rounded out by #48 Lamborghini Gallardo which recorded its 2:06.3498 time in the morning session.

After collecting the pole trophy Engel paid tribute to Simonsen, killed at Le Mans last year, as well as his former teammate Sean Edwards, who died after a testing accident in Queensland where he was acting as a private tutor.

2014 Bathurst 12 Hour – Qualifying times
Qualifyng 1 | Qualifying 2 | Qualifying 3

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2013 Nürburgring 24 hour race in pictures

Porsche at the 2013 Nurburgring 24 hour race

If you didn’t follow the 2013 Nürburgring 24 hour race over at AUSringers on Monday here’s your chance to catch up, pictorially at least. After the break you’ll find a huge gallery of photos with thanks to Aston Martin, Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche.

In the end, thanks to heavy rain and fog during the night session the race was red flagged. Around nine hours were lost in total, and while that was a shame, the race still provided all the drama and excitement you would expect from a 24 hour race around the Green Hell.

For the record the #9 Black Falcon Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 won the race. At the wheel was Bernd Schneider, Jeroen Bleekemolen, Sean Edwards and Nicki Thiim. Amazingly it was the first ever Nürburgring 24 hour race win for Mercedes-Benz and Bernd Schneider. Indeed, after several attempts it was the first time that Schneider had finished the race.

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VIDEO: McLaren MP4-12C says ‘excuse me’

McLaren MP4-12C supertest

True to their word Car magazine has posted their video results of the McLaren MP4-12C supercar group test. Former Mr Stig, Ben Collins, took to Rockingham Motor Speedway in a veritable orgasm of supercars to see if the McLaren could walk the walk, after talking so much talk.

Up against the MP4-12C were:

After the break you can see the full 10 minute clip, which includes brief comments from Collins after driving each car. Make sure you watch right to the end and then tell us what you think of the closing graphic. Also available below is in-car footage from each lap.

[Thanks to Wayne for the reminder]


Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster targets Frankfurt debut

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

Mercedes-Benz has released these official images of the SLS AMG Roadster which document the car’s development from tin top to rag top.

According to Benz the SLS AMG Coupé and Roadster were created in parallel. That has given the engineers a head start in refining NVH levels, body rigidity, handling and the soft top roof.

The Roadster has completed 20,000kms of testing, half on urban roads, the other half around the Nürburgring. It will debut in production form at the Frankfurt Motor Show in mid-September.

Mercedes-Benz Video

Mmmm, donuts!

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG

From time to time we feature videos from car mags that bring us closer to the cars we love, or hope to love. Usually they’re pretty straight laced, informative and good, honest viewing. This clip from Car and Driver, though, breaks the mould. It’s the Mecrdes-Benz SLS AMG as you’ve never seen it before. You will love it!


Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster spied

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

A couple of pics of a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster prototype have been doing the rounds today. Of course, the Roadster will lose the gullwing-style doors of the tin top, but it will feature the same stonking 6.3 litre V8 engine. Using a weight and space saving fabric roof the SLS AMG Roadster is expected to debut around the middle of next year.

[Source: Autocar]


Mercedes SLS AMG wins Golden Classic Steering Wheel award

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Gullwing

The gorgeous and incredibly desirable Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG has just been won the inaugural Golden Classic Steering Wheel award, presented by German publication Auto Bild Klassik.

Attracting over 30% of the vote the SLS AMG was judged a “Classic of the future” in the Sports coupés and convertibles category. The new Gullwing finished ahead of eight other competitors, including the Audi R8 Spyder, Ferrari 458 Italia, Maserati GranCabrio, McLaren MP4-12C and Porsche 918 Spyder.

In other SLS AMG news the GT3 racing version will be making its racing debut in a VLN event at the Nürburgring Nordschleife this weekend.


Sneak peek: Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

German publication Auto Motor und Sport currently has a promo previewing some of the cars that will be on show at the Paris Motor Show in a few weeks (2–17 October). Included in that preview is this image of the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster. Until now we’ve only seen camouflaged prototypes in testing at the Nürburgring and the like.

Often the transition from tin top to soft top can result in a less than satisfying design. Based on this image, however, it would seem Mercedes has done quite well. The real test, of course, is seeing how the car looks with its roof down.

The engine specs from the 6.3 litre V8 found in the SLS AMG aren’t expected to change for the Roadster version. It will also be interesting to see how the dynamics of the soft top have been affected by its greater weight due to chassis strengthening.

[Source: Auto Motor und Sport]


Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster spy shots

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

Pistonspy have some nice shots of the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster in action at the Nürburgring. It’s expected we’ll get a proper look at an undisguised SLS AMG Roadster before the end of the year. It may even be revealed at the Paris Motor Show in October.

Engine specs from the tintop SLS AMG aren’t likely to change, so there might be a slight performance drop due to the extra weight needed to strengthen the roofless chassis.

[Pic: Pistonspy]

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Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 photo gallery

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3

Good news for wannabe track day heroes, Mercedes-AMG GmbH are now taking orders for their SLS AMG GT3 racer. If you do want to kick sand in the faces of the Audi and Porsche kids you’ll need to cough up €334K plus taxes. That’s around half a million bucks in Aussie dollars. Deliveries are shceduled for February 2011.

As the model names suggests the SLS AMG GT3 is designed to meet regulations for FIA GT racing and we should see the Gullwing tearing up the track at the Nürburgring 24 hour race in 2011. Bravo!

Mercedes have been testing the car since June, with successful DTM star Bernd Schneider undertaking most of the test duties. The SLS AMG GT3 will make its racing debut in a VLN mini-enduro at the demanding Nürburgring Nordschleife in late September.

Peak power from the 6.3 litre V8 and final kerb weight will be confirmed by the FIA during the homolgation process in accordance with its “Balance of Performance” guidelines which are aimed at ensuring equality.

Uncle Norbert seems quite happy with his new toy, “This is an exciting and spectacular sports car for dedicated private teams and talented private drivers. AMG will work together with our tried-and-trusted sports and touring car partner HWA to put in place a motorsport customer department 
which will guarantee its motorsport customers hallmark Mercedes service.”

So far, it looks like demand will out strip supply in the early stages. So Norbert really is a happy chappy.

A big photo gallery (including more of that blinged up chrome SLS) and the full press release from Mercedes-Benz are all yours after the break.


VIDEO: David Coulthard, the Isle of Man and the SLS AMG

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG

The combination of ex-Formula One driver, revered tarmac and Mercedes’ latest supercar is one well worth savouring. Indeed, Mercedes-Benz made a 3D film about the experience. You can watch the old-skool 2D version featuring David Coulthard after the jump. There’s also a mini making of documentary, too, which is well worth a look.

You might recall Tiff Needell from Fifth Gear tested the SLS on the day this film was being shot. If you’re a fan of the latest Mercedes Gullwing, then watch Tiff ripping it around the Isle of Man TT course once again.

[via motorcentral]


VIDEO: Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster test

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

Those of you who think gullwing style doors are a bit passe might be interested to learn the Roadster version of the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG is getting closer to a release. This video filmed at the Nürburgring shows the car in action. As with its tin top sibling the engine note is pretty special. Check out the clip after the break.

[via The German Car Blog]