2015 was the most successful year in motorsport history for Mercedes-Benz, and it was with this the 2015 Mercedes Benz Stars & Cars was an even more enjoyable experience as Daniel Juncadella is crowned the first ever Stars & Cars Champion.
In front of over 35,000 spectators at the Mercedes-Benz Arena Stuttgart, the Mercedes-AMG DTM driver prevailed over Pascal Wehrlein in the fourth and final round of the day. This victory for Juncadella rounded off a motorsport season in which Mercedes-Benz claimed no fewer than 19 titles in Formula 1, the DTM, Formula 3, the GP3 Series and the AMG Customer Sports Program.
“We’ve achieved all of our goals this year. We again won the Formula One drivers’ and constructors’ world championship with Lewis and the team. In the DTM, we bounced back this year after a tough season in 2014, and the successes of the guys in the other series put the icing on the cake,” said Mercedes-Benz Head of Motorsport Toto Wolff. “There is no silver bullet in motor racing. You have to make the right decisions and mold the best drivers and engineers into a team. Having the right team spirit is often underestimated, however, but it’s especially important. Our team spirit was outstanding this year. We all pulled together and, as a team, experienced the most successful motor racing year in the history of our brand.”
The event opened with demo laps by the Mercedes-Benz motorsport champions of 2015 in their respective championship-winning vehicles: the Mercedes-Benz F1 W06 Hybrid, the Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM, the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 and a Dallara-Mercedes Formula 3 racing car.
Stars & Cars, the traditional end-of-season celebration for Mercedes-Benz, is four knockout rounds of competition contested by 16 drivers. The drivers included the two Silver Arrow Formula One stars Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg as well as all eight Mercedes-AMG DTM drivers. Other participants included two-time Formula One World Champion Mika Häkkinen, former F1 and DTM driver David Coulthard and record DTM championship winner Bernd Schneider.
The drivers were given identical cars to compete head to head. However as they progressed through the competition, they moved up to another vehicle class. A total of four different vehicles were used: the Mercedes-AMG A45 4MATIC (first round), the Mercedes-AMG C 63 S (quarter-finals), the Mercedes-AMG GT S (semi-finals) and the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 (final).
On the way to victory, Juncadella prevailed over Lucas Auer, Bernd Schneider and Nico Rosberg. His opponent in the final, Pascal Wehrlein, eliminated Jean Alesi in the first round before going on to beat David Coulthard in the quarter-final and Lewis Hamilton in the semis.
Daniel Juncadella, Winner: “I’m absolutely delighted. I felt really comfortable in the SLS AMG GT3 and found a good rhythm. Stars & Cars was a super event – there were so many fans here tonight. Simply incredible. I was nervous going into each of the races. It’s been a very special occasion.”
Between each of the four rounds of Stars & Cars, there were ‘show duels’ with a novelty factor. One of these special encounters was between two former McLaren team-mates, Mika Häkkinen and David Coulthard, each driving a Mercedes-Benz G 63 AMG 6×6. Other exhibition runs were contested with historic Silver Arrows or DTM cars such as the Mercedes-Benz W 196 R, the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR and the Mercedes-Benz 190 EVO II. Special appearances included Sir Stirling Moss and Hans Herrmann while Susie Wolff the former Mercedes-Benz DTM driver ended her active career, so Stars & Cars marked her official retirement.
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