Mercedes-AMG is in the process of establishing spare parts support for customers as it prepares to make further deliveries of its new GT2 car later this year.
The Mercedes-AMG GT2 was announced in December and has already completed multiple endurance and sprint races, including the Nürburgring 24 where the manufacturer provided cars to Haupt Racing Team and Schnitzelalm Racing.
Two customer GT2s are also now in operation, with HRT running one since the start of the Fanatec GT2 European Series season and Akkodis ASP joining from the second round at Red Bull Ring last weekend.
ASP duly gave Mercedes-AMG its first overall GT2 victory when Benjamin and Mauro Ricci won the opening race in Austria.
According to Mercedes-AMG’s head of Customer Racing, those early customer outings are designed to help showcase the vehicle before more buyers receive their cars.
Stefan Wendl told Sportscar365 that spare parts support is a key challenge at the moment and that a major focus this year is establishing a comprehensive network.
“We have a lot of talks with our teams, potential teams, Stephane [Ratel, GT2 European Series founder] and all kinds of race series where we could enter those cars,” he said.
“Also to be ready for next season with our support. We want to establish the spare parts support, everywhere the car could run, depending on the number of cars on the grid.
“For example, at races like Dubai. It’s a task for us to be ready with parts overseas. You cannot react only when you sell a car: you need to plan for this and offer it to customers.
“This is something we are negotiating with all the interested clients, so we are ready with technical and spare parts support.”
Wendl indicated that the delivery of the next Mercedes-AMG GT2s to customers will take another two months and that this prediction is based on parts availability.
“Some parts of this car are not so easy to achieve or get,” he explained.
“We are looking forward to maybe adding on the grid some more cars towards the end of the season.
“It’s not fixed to Europe. We try to be fair and deliver the cars where they are needed.
“For example, Stephane plans to make a race at Indianapolis with GT2 cars [in October]. This is something we for sure will participate in, in the hands of customers.”
Specifying the equipment that is difficult to obtain, Wendl said: “Parts like the gearbox are hard, for example. Also the fuel cells. They are sold out, I have to say.
“I know all manufacturers face those problems. We have a very long lead time on those cars, of half a year.
“We are building other cars: we are busy with our GT3s and GT4s. That’s why it’s not easy to get the amount of parts we need to build all those cars.”
Wendl would not be drawn to say how many orders Mercedes-AMG has received for the GT2, which is designed to fit between GT3 and GT4 in its customer racing portfolio.
He added that it’s difficult to predict how many deliveries could be made by the end of this year as Mercedes-AMG is “fighting” to ensure every part is readily available.
Getting a customer GT2 on the grid from the opening round of the European season was an achievement considering Mercedes-AMG initially expected to introduce the car mid-campaign due to supply chain demands.
“We are completely on schedule for our customer car deliveries,” Wendl stated.
“We had the chance, with our suppliers, to collect those two early customer cars.
“We targeted them to come into the race series to support the ambition of Stephane and have a chance at running for the full season.”
“Learnings” Gained from Nürburgring 24 Debut
The Mercedes-AMG GT2 recently made its 24-hour race debut at the Nürburgring where HRT and Schnitzelalm operated one car each in the experimental SP-X class.
It was an eventful outing for both teams, as HRT lost over an hour repairing damage from an accident at Flugplatz and Schnitzelalm had a problem with an engine sensor that was replaced.
Despite those incidents, Wendl was satisfied at seeing both Mercedes-AMG GT2s reach the checkered flag.
And while the GT2 European Series is a sprint competition, Wendl is keen for the platform to become eligible as a standalone class at the Nürburgring in the future.
“I’m really happy to have both cars at the finish,” said Wendl.
“This was my hope, an outcome because we are not in class contention. I saw many happy faces of the drivers and the drivers loved those cars and enjoyed driving them.
“Together with all the learnings we have from this first attempt, I think we are confident to produce and deliver a very good car at the end of the summer.”