The new manufacturer-supported team will be entitled Mercedes-AMG E-Sports Team ART and will compete in the five remaining iRacing Special Events in 2023 that have a GT3 class. Naturally, the Mercedes-AMG GT3 will be the car of choice.
“This deal is huge for us,” said Apex Racing’s Team Owner, Alex Simpson, to Traxion.GG.
“It’s nice to have a little bit of budgetary help, let’s not shy away from that, drivers can earn a living out of sim racing. It’s always great to bring people on board and turn their hobbies into a potential career path.
“How they want to support us is great too, with Mercedes-AMG planning on being very heavily involved with branded social media partnerships where we really push things together. We could be doing partner Instagram posts where Apex Racing is exposed to millions of people.”
The UK midlands-headquartered team won both the LMP2 and GTD classes of the iRacing 24 Hours of Daytona at the start of the year, and last season took home the IMSA Esports championship. Alongside participating in the new ESL R1 competition, it’s also been winning races in the Porsche Esports Supercup in 2023.
But, it wasn’t just the success on track that helps this deal to come about. Apex also offers services such as esports broadcasting, league management and coaching, amongst others.
“Obviously, yes, you know, we have a really good team and we had great results last year,” explains Simpson.
“There’s now going to be another top team driving around in some Mercedes at some selected events. One of Mercedes-AMG’s ambitions is to get more people driving its cars, whether it’s in the virtual or real world. Sim racing is seen as a way to connect with the right demographic.
“But for broadcasting, we could also tap into that, combined with our league hosting and management experience. So I hope we can help to develop some AMG events that people could enter. I think it was after a team that is experienced in hosting, managing events, doing broadcasts and pulling it all together. The fact that we have a bunch of simulators at our base too, in theory, we can host LAN finals or we can take them to events.”
The new partnership will debut this weekend during the iRacing Nürburgring 24h, co-branded between Apex’s regular partners and livery design, but with an updated AMG theme.
“For a brand like Mercedes-AMG to say we want you because of all of the extras that you can do, not just the racing, and we see the value in everything that you’ve built here – we couldn’t have asked for a better testimony.”
The team remains independent, so will continue in other esports competitions, but now has backing directly from Affalterbach for the rest of the iRacing season. It hopes for positive results to continue or expand the partnership in the future.