AMG clocks 50
Catching up on performance motoring: the three familiar letters of AMG turns 50 years old this year – just in case aficionados want to gather around a cake that smells of caramelised rubber! You can of course switch it for some real burnt tires behind the numerous performance cars or imposing road-going vehicles the alliance has spawned.
The company was founded by engineers Hans-Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher in 1967. Just to make sure you get the birthday baby’s name right, the A comes from Aufrecht and M from Melcher of the founders’ names and the G was put in place by the former’s birthplace of Großaspach.
The duo were working in the development wing of the 300 SE racing engine at Daimler-Benz – until the company ceased all motor sports activities. In 1967, they founded the “Aufrecht Melcher Großaspach Engineering Bureau, Design and Testing for the Development of Racing Engines”, based in an old mill in the village of Burgstall. Soon, the engines reworked there were chased after by private racing teams. In 1971, the 24-hour race of Spa became the company’s first sporting milestone: The heavy luxury saloon stunned the lighter racing cars for a class victory and second place in the overall ranking for the AMG Mercedes 300 SEL 6.8! It was in 1990 that a cooperation contract with DaimlerChrysler AG was signed, followed by the acquisition in 1999 of a 51 percent majority shareholding in AMG, before finally becoming sole owner in 2005.
Saudi Arrows claims second Audi Sport title
Mohammed Bin Saud Al Saud was crowned Saudi GT Championship winner at Reem Circuit. The Audi Team was victorious in the New Zealand championship too, in March. The 24 year old ‘rookie’ from Saudi Arabia, who only joined Audi Sport customer racing at the beginning of the year, recorded his fourth victory in six races and won the 2016/2017 Saudi GT Championship in his Audi R8 LMS. Earlier, the Saudi Arrows that consists of Mohammed Bin Saud Al Saud other than Mohammed Bin Faisal Al Saud, Marcel Faessler and Michael Vergers had secured the 6th place behind the wheel of the Audi R8 LMS #5 at their very first 24H Dubai appearance.
Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge celebrates new champion
Even before the championship was over, a third place finish in the penultimate race by Ireland’s Ryan Cullen (top image) secured him his first overall Drivers Championship in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East Season. At the time, he had seven race wins out of eleven to his credit giving him an unassailable lead over second placed Charlie Frijns.
The gratification of pushing the champion to the third place in the penultimate race went to teenage sensation Al Faisal Al Zubair, who won by 0.678 seconds in the 10-lap race at the Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir.
NISMO gets a boost
The NISMO Cars Business Department is part of Autech Japan, Inc., a Nissan group company that makes converted vehicles. Using talent from Nissan, Autech, Nissan Motorsports International Co., Ltd. and other group companies, Nissan plans to expand the range of NISMO road cars to new segments and markets and boost the line up in existing markets, including Japan, North America, Europe and the Middle East. Nissan expects this to boost the sales of NISMO cars, which now stands at around 15,000 units a year.