TRG Motorsports and Circle B Motorcars of Texas will debut the No 71 Circle B Motorcars Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren 722 GT car in the SCCA Pro Racing Speed World Challenge GT Championship at Autobahn Country Club in Joliet, Illinois on July 26.
The SLR 722 GT is an exotic sports car that features a supercharged Mercedes V8 capable of producing 680hp, but will be restricted in the World Challenge GT series to 550hp using an engine developed by Ray Mallock Limited in England. The car was designed and built by RML, in accordance with McLaren Technology, and is a limited edition racer, with only 15 in existence. The name SLR stands for "Sport, Leicht, Rennsport" (Sport, Light, Racing).
TRG and RML are currently homologating the SLR 722 GT to comply with the SCCA World Challenge GT specifications. The project is being headed by Bill Rader at TRG Motorsports' facility in Mooresville, NC.
TRG sports car ace Spencer Pumpelly has performed an initial shakedown at Virginia International Raceway earlier this month and will pilot the car in four races this season.
"Considering the amazing performance of the street version and the history of both Mercedes-Benz and McLaren, I couldn't imagine this won't be a rocketship," Pumpelly said. "From what I've seen so far, I think racing drivers and fans alike have a lot to be excited about. "
Owner of the McLaren, Peter Blom, is anxious to see the car on the track. "Bearing in mind these cars have a racing history in Europe dating back to 2008, we're excited to see what it can do in US trim," Blom said. "We decided to race the 2009 version in the states to see if we can attract any of the street versions that are currently in North America. Some people buy these cars to add to a collection, I bought mine to race. Together with TRG, we'll see exactly what this car is capable of. It looks like it is going 20 mph standing still, so I can't wait to see it on the track." TRG owner Kevin Buckler is looking to the team's first foray in the Speed World Challenge. "We want to showcase the performance of this awesome car in the states, as well as our team's capabilities," he said. "TRG will make its team debut in the series as well. It will be the car's first competitive laps in North America and we hope that some owners who have the street version will want to bring their cars out to race or do some track days. We'll be prepping SLRs for clients to run in a variety of events, not just in full race trim."
"Spencer is going to drive the car in four races at Autobahn, Mid-Ohio, Road America and Road Atlanta to showcase the car and the team's abilities. We're looking forward to seeing exactly what this car can do against the established competition in the World Challenge GT Series. " TRG was founded in 1993 and has the most wins of any team in the Grand-Am Rolex Series, including the 2005 and 2006 Rolex Series GT Championship trophy to go along with wins at the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.