20 September 2012 - 16:00
Mercedes joins V8 Supercars!
Ford and Holden fans, heads up: the Germans are coming.
Mercedes-Benz has confirmed it will build a V8 Supercar and, along with Nissan, will gatecrash next year's championship.
V8 team Stone Brothers Racing will ditch Ford and build three E-Class V8 Supercars, each with special racing engines built by AMG in Germany - a special downsized version of the 6.2-litre V8 found in the C63 and SLS.
Mercedes' new drivers will be Lee Holdsworth, Shane Van Gisbergen and Tim Slade. The cars will make their race debut at Adelaide's Clipsal 500 in March.
But it won't be a factory-backed thing. Mercedes-Benz Australia doesn't want anything to do with the whole operation; the cars, and team, will be assembled and run without any official support.
Along with Nissan, Mercedes is now the second manufacturer to confirm it will join V8 Supercars next year, thanks to the series relaxing its rules on who can enter the sport. The series' new 2013 Car of the Future is an initiative designed to lure more makers to the sport.
It's worked. And there could even be more on the way. Watch this space.
Above picture: not a V8 Supercar. It's a DTM car, the German equivalent of our V8s. But the V8 version will look something similar. If you squint lots.