Three Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3s will be at the starting line for the 24-hour race in Dubai (UAE) on 15 January 2011. This first test event in 2011 also marks the completion of the development programme for the racing version of the gullwing model.

The three cars are being entered by the customer teams Black Falcon and Heico Motorsport. The 24-hour race in Dubai will serve to accumulate test kilometres and fine-tune the SLS AMG GT3 before deliveries begin at the end of February 2011.

The SLS AMG GT3s will compete with high-calibre international sports car competitors in Class A6. The private team Black Falcon is entering two cars: start number 7 will be driven by Thomas Jäger, Jan Seyffarth, Kenneth Heyer and Sean Paul Breslin.

It’s personally quite heartening to see Sean Paul Breslin in the Black Falcon line-up – anyone that has frequented the private car community, PureGT (, will know that just a few years ago SP was a mere track-day rookie, but has since gone on to achieve some tremendous results in 24-hour endurance racing particularly in the Nürburgring 24 hours. Fellow PureGT member, Glenn McMenamin, retained the pro-am2 title in this years’ Porsche Carrera Cup GB championship, so it’s been the source of some pretty talented drivers in recent years (must be something in the water…)

The cockpit of the other Black Falcon GT3 (#8) will be shared by Ralf Schall, Timothy Pappas, Bret Curtis and David Horn. The customer team Black Falcon has taken part in every 24-hour race in Dubai since the inception of the event in 2006.

The Heico Motorsport SLS AMG GT3 (#9) will have Bernd Schneider, Lance David Arnold, Andreas Wirth, Brice Bosi and Christiaan Frankenhout behind the wheel.

The Race

The race starts at 2 p.m. (local time) on Saturday, 15 January 2011. The 24-hour race on the 5.39-kilometre Grand Prix circuit of the Dubai Autodrome is being held for the sixth time in 2011 and around 90 cars are expected to take part, with drivers and teams from more than 30 countries involved.

Can I drive one?

Production of customers cars began at the end of December and after homologation by the FIA, deliveries of the SLS AMG GT3 will commence at the end of February 2011. The selling price is expected to be € 334,000 (excl. VAT)/€ 397,460 (incl. 19 % VAT), but if that sounds a little above your budget there’s another way you can get behind the wheel.

You can drive an SLS AMG GT3 for a little less than the € 397,460 asking price by booking yourself into a course at the AMG Driving Academy

In the coming year, customers of the AMG Driving Academy will be able to drive the SLS AMG GT3 on the racetrack during selected events. The SLS AMG GT3 cars will be used for the “Masters” level, the most demanding level in terms of driving skills. You can find out more about the Masters courses and download a brochure for the AMG Driving Academy by clicking here.