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The Mercedes-AMG GT3 is coming to American endurance racing next year

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Mercedes-Benz announced today that it will now support a customer racing program for the IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship. The company will use the Mercedes-AMG GT3 race car, a GT3 class racer based on the Mercedes-AMG GT S, and it will participate in the GTD class. This will also be the company's entrance into American endurance racing. It had only previously raced GT-class endurance cars here with the SLS AMG GT3 during some of the Pirelli World Challenge's American events.

Three cars will start the 2017 season, two of which will be fielded by Riley Motorsports. One of the Riley cars is partially sponsored by Mercedes-AMG, while the other is fully sponsored by WeatherTech. The third car is a customer car, and will compete under the banner of SunEnergy1 Racing. All teams running Mercedes-AMG GT3s will have support from Mercedes. The company will be able to supply parts from its headquarters in North Carolina. Not only that, but Mercedes will deploy a team to each race event to provide help and support.

Because the AMG GT3 will be competing in the GTD class, it will be facing many European rivals from Aston Martin, Audi, BMW, Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Porsche. This past year, a few Dodge Vipers also took to the circuit. The AMG GT3 won't be directly facing off with the Ford GT and Chevy Corvette, though, since those two compete in the GT LM class.

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