Strakka switches from McLaren to Mercedes for 2018
The Strakka Racing GT squad will switch from McLaren to Mercedes machinery for the 2018 season, and will contest the Intercontinental GT Challenge for the first time.
After quitting the LMP2 division of the FIA World Endurance Championship at the end of 2016, Strakka turned its focus towards Blancpain’s Endurance and Sprint categories, contesting both championships with a quartet of McLaren 650S GT3s.
However, results for the partnership were underwhelming, with just a single top-six finish for the British outfit across the two championships.
Now Strakka has announced that it will instead field a trio of Mercedes-AMG GT3s in the Blancpain Endurance Cup next season, and that it has been given ‘Performance Team’ status by the German marque.
It will also ditch its Blancpain Sprint programme in favour of an assault on the Intercontinental GT Challenge, which begins next February with the Bathurst 12 Hours and also encompasses races at Suzuka and Laguna Seca as well as the blue-riband Spa 24 Hours.
“It’s great for Strakka to be back on the world stage and competing at venues such as Bathurst and Laguna Seca,” said team owner Nick Leventis.
“Together with a return to the Endurance Cup, we’ve a got an exciting calendar next season and a partner in Mercedes-AMG that will enable us to fight for podiums and wins.
“Regrettably, we suffered a range of issues that prevented us from being competitive in 2017 and despite a desire for stability, a change was necessary.
“After a thorough review, we feel the opportunity to become a Performance Team for Mercedes-AMG is the perfect platform for the future of Strakka.”
No drivers have yet been announced for the new programme, but Strakka says its line-up will “include drivers from the factory Mercedes-AMG roster".
“From initial discussions, there is real interest in the programme, especially with the Intercontinental GT Challenge,” said Strakka racing director Jay Davenport.
“Our tie up with Mercedes-AMG is something which we have kept extremely close to our chest. To be able to announce this today means we now have the full package in place.”
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