Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren to run in four SCCA races this summer
Sports-car enthusiasts will be getting a taste of the exotic this summer, as the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren will debut in SCCA competition on July 26 at the Speed World Challenge GT Championship at Autobahn Country Club in Joliet, Ill.
TRG Motorsports and Circle B Motorcars of Texas will run the No. 71 Circle B Motorcars Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren 722 GT. It has a supercharged Mercedes V8 engine capable of producing 680 hp, but the car will run in the World Challenge GT series with a restricted 550-hp V8 engine developed by Ray Mallock Limited in England.
The car was designed and built by RML, in accordance with McLaren Technology, and is a limited-edition racer, with only 15 in existence.
TRG and RML are working to make the SLR 722 GT comply with the SCCA World Challenge GT specifications. The project is being headed by Bill Rader, No. 71 SLR GT project manager, at the TRG Motorsports facility in Mooresville, N.C.
TRG sports-car driver Spencer Pumpelly did initial testing at Virginia International Raceway earlier this month and will pilot the car in four races this season.
"Considering the amazing performance of the street-car versions and the history of both Mercedes-Benz and McLaren, I could not imagine this won't be a rocket ship," Pumpelly said. “From what I have seen so far, I think racing drivers and fans alike have a lot to be excited about with this car.”
Peter Blom, owner of the No. 71 Circle B Motorcars SLR 722 GT, is anxious to see the car on the track.
"Bearing in mind that these cars have a racing history in Europe dating back to 2008, we are excited to see what it can do in U.S. trim," Blom said. "We decided to race the 2009 version of the car here in the States to see if we can draw out the street versions of the cars that are currently in North America.
“Some people buy these cars to add to a collection; I bought mine to race.”
TRG owner Kevin Buckler is looking forward to the team's first foray into the Speed World Challenge.
"We want to showcase the performance of this awesome car here in the States, as well as our team's capabilities," Buckler said. "TRG will be making its debut as a team in the series as well. It will be the car's first competitive laps in North America, and we hope that some of the owners that have the street version in this country will also want to bring their cars out to race, or simply do some track days. “
The car will compete at Autobahn, Mid-Ohio, Road America and Road Atlanta. http://www.autoweek.com/article/2009...ORTS/906309980