MERCEDES C9 to race in Group C series

One of the classic sportscars to make racing return.

There is great news for the Group C Racing series and motorsport enthusiasts in general, with the announcement that Mercedes Sauber C9 chassis number 05A, will be competing in the 2008 Group C Racing series.

The car is steeped in history with five wins during the 1989 World Sportscar Championship in the hands of drivers Jean-Louis Schlesser and Jochen Mass.

Schlesser, who went on to be the '89 world champion, also recorded two fastest laps and established a racing land speed world speed record of 407Km/h at Le Mans during the same year.

Appearing in its classic Mercedes-Benz "Silver Arrows" livery, the car will be driven by Australian owner/driver Rob Sherrard and prepared by race specialists Xtec Engineering.

Having been restored by Sauber in 1992, the C9 moved to Switzerland when it was sold to Mr Coxx Kocher, where it remained until Rob purchased the car in March 2008.

Rob said: "This is an awesome racing car with unrivalled pedigree and to be able to race it in the series this year is just fantastic, particularly as we have the attraction of the race at Le Mans. I can't wait to actually get behind the wheel and drive it in anger."

Group C Racing series director Charlie Agg stated: "The series has a wonderful line-up of classic Group C machinery, but the one missing ingredient was the iconic Mercedes Group C car. However, now that Rob has completed the purchase of this superb car, we can boast a complete field of 'A' list machinery. This will be the first time for a number of years that anyone has seen a C9 compete and it is a credit to both the series and the other entrants also competing, that it will be in the Group C Racing series that it will be seen."

For the meetings at Spa in May, Silverstone in July and Donington in October, the racing format will consist of a 30-minute "Super Cup Sprint" and a 90-minute "Enduro Trophy" race, the latter featuring driver changes and refuelling.However, the support race at Le Mans in June is a single 40-minute sprint race contributing to the "Super Cup Sprint".

A full list of the current Group C Racing series entries is as follows:

Make and Model Car No DriverArgo JM 19C 19 John EdwardsArgo JM 20 82 Richard OddieAston Martin AMR1 18 Paul WhightBardon DB2 103 Duncan McKayJaguar XJR 11 4 Gary PearsonJaguar XJR 12 32 Nick RiniJaguar XJR 10 3 Justin LawJaguar XJR 5 40 Donald MilesJaguar XJR 9 21 Derek HoodMarch 84 G 85 Pat ThomasMarch 85 G 16 Peter SchlieferMazda 757 GTP IMSA 203 Jim LoftisMercedes Sauber C9 1 Rob SherrardNissan NPT1 30 Nick RandallNissan NPTI 90 TBC Donald CoasterNissan ZX GTP 84 Kent AbrahamsonNissan RC90 83 Peter SowerbyNissan R90-CK 27 Andy PurdiePorsche 962 TBC Oliver MathaiPorsche 962 14 Henry PearmanPorsche 962 7 Mark SumpterPorsche 962 C 39 David HartPorsche 962 TBC Peter CookPorsche 962 TBC Simon WrightPorsche 962C 72 Oliver MaierhoferSpice GTP lights 77 Christopher CattSpice Pontiac SE P89 15 Stefano RosinaSpice SE GTP 11 Fredy KumschickSpice SE 90 12 Andrew HaddonTiga GC 287 37 Richard BatemanTiga GC 287 81 Richard ChesterTiga C2 TBC Niels BlegvadTBA TBC Claus Bjerglund