· Exclusive vehicle and driver presentation on March 10, 2017 at the new MANN+HUMMEL Technology Center in Ludwigsburg · Participation of the Mercedes-AMG GT3 in the ADAC GT Masters and Blancpain GT Endurance Series · Highlights are the 24-hour classics at the Nürburgring and Spa-Francorchamps.
Ludwigsburg, March 13, 2017 - At an exclusive presentation event at the MANN+HUMMEL Technology Center in Ludwigsburg last Friday, MANN-FILTER and HTP Motorsport announced the new race car and driver pairings for the 2017 motor sports season. The premium filter brand from the Swabian city of Ludwigsburg and the renowned racing team from Altendiez in Rhineland-Palatinate have joined forces to cause a sensation on Europe's race tracks as the MANN-FILTER team HTP.
The distinctive and dynamic yellow and green MANN-FILTER design will this year adorn one of the spectacular Mercedes-AMG GT3 vehicles of HTP Motorsport. The sports car, which is powered by a 6.2-liter V8 engine delivering around 550 hp, will take part in numerous racing series with a team made up of both young and experienced drivers.
In the ADAC GT Masters, Dutch driver Indy Dontje (Alkmaar) and German driver Marvin Kirchhöfer (Leipzig) will share the cockpit of the MANN-FILTER Mercedes-AMG GT3. The Super Sports Car League is currently one of the toughest GT3 championships worldwide from both a quantitative and a qualitative perspective. In the ADAC GT Masters, two one-hour races with a driver change will be held each race weekend. The season will get underway on April 29/30 in Oschersleben.
The MANN-FILTER team HTP will also take part in the European Blancpain GT Endurance Series. Experienced endurance racer Kenneth Heyer, who has already been flying the yellow and green flag of MANN-FILTER for a number of years, will share the cockpit with Dontje and Patrick Assenheimer. In the Blancpain Endurance Series, which gets underway in Monza, Italy, on April 23, five endurance races will take place over different distances. The highlight of the season will be the legendary 24-hour race at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium on the last weekend of July.
Season highlight at the Nürburgring
The 24-hour race at the Nürburgring on May 27/28 will be another big highlight of the season for the MANN-FILTER trio taking part in the Blancpain GT Endurance Series. This marathon race on the world's most spectacular, but toughest race track – the legendary Nordschleife of the Nürburgring – is an ordeal for man and machine, but a challenge that the MANN-FILTER team HTP is really looking forward to. With the Nordschleife-loving trio Heyer/Dontje/Assenheimer and the Mercedes-AMG GT3, which proved its performance and reliability in last year's quadruple victory, the team is ready to take on the Eifel region classic. A fourth driver had been announced at the evening of the event in Ludwigsburg: It is DTM legend Bernd Schneider.
"I'm looking forward to working with MANN-FILTER," says HTP Motorsport team boss Norbert Brückner. "Both partners share the same values – competitive spirit, drive and performance. We have big plans for this year. The foundations for success have already been laid. Now it is up to the entire MANN-FILTER team HTP to use this advantage and do their very best on the race track. And that's exactly what we intend to do."
"To be involved in such a fantastic event, to see such an amazing car bearing our yellow and green MANN-FILTER colors, and to have such promising driver pairings for both the ADAC GT Masters and the endurance races at the Nürburgring and throughout Europe, is really exciting for us" says Jörg Engels, Director Brand Management Automotive Aftermarket at MANN+HUMMEL. "Our commitment to motor sports is a perfect fit for the MANN-FILTER brand and has drawn a hugely positive response in previous years. Along with the brand communication activities, we will be using the motor sports platform intensively for customer events and training based around the race weekends this year. Our partnership with HTP Motorsport is therefore our next big step from the national to the international motor sports stage. We are really looking forward to it."
Kenneth Heyer: "I'm very excited about the fantastic program for the new season, from both a driving and marketing perspective. I've had a strong relationship with the MANN-FILTER brand for many years and I'm involved at every level. We've already enjoyed back-to-back victories. With HTP Motorsport, I've now come full circle. It's a successful team and the Heyer family has been friends with team boss Norbert Brückner for many decades, so we share many of the same strong values. In the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring, the 24 Hours of Spa, the Blancpain Endurance Series and the ADAC GT Masters, we will be taking part in two of the world's biggest endurance races, and in the Blancpain Endurance Series we will be driving in the world's toughest endurance GT3 series. The ADAC GT Masters is one of the best marketing platforms and from a sporting perspective one of the toughest GT3 sprint series. All in all, 2017 looks set to be a great year."
Bernd Schneider, (52) legendary German race driver who achieved five DTM championship titles. With the 24h-race at Nürburgring, in Spa-Francorchamps, in Dubai as well as the 12h-race at Bathurst and Abu Dhabi, he won all major endurance races of the GT-race sport
Kenneth Heyer, (37, Wegberg), son of racing legend Hans Heyer, is a true endurance specialist in GT motor sports. Since 2011, he has been a fixture in the customer sports program of Mercedes-AMG and has recorded countless victories in many GT3 racing series and endurance races.
Patrick Assenheimer (24) comes from Heilbronn, not too far from where MANN-FILTER is based. The Swabian began his motor sports career in the VLN endurance championship at the Nürburgring and first attracted attention at the ADAC GT Masters in 2014.
Marvin Kirchhöfer, who will be 23 on March 19, made his ascent from the ADAC Formel Masters via GP3 to the GP2 Series, in which he showcased his enormous talent with a second place in Monaco last year.
Indy Dontje: The 24-year old showed his skills for the first time in the ADAC Formel Masters, but switched to production car racing in 2015 and has been a member of the Mercedes-AMG GT3 family since 2016.