March 10, 2003
Mercedes-Benz CLK 55 AMG debuts as new Formula One Safety Car
Stuttgart/Affalterbach, Germany – The Mercedes-Benz CLK 55 AMG made its debut as the official Formula One Safety Car at the first Grand Prix of 2003 in Melbourne, Australia and will continue for the rest of the Formula One season.
Piloted by experienced Mercedes-Benz DTM driver Bernd Maylander, the Safety Car intervenes in the event of accidents, adverse weather conditions or other critical situations which jeopardise safety on the race track. As the official Safety Car of the FIA (Federation Internationale de l’Automobile), the CLK 55 AMG will be on call at each of the 16 Formula One circuits, enabling it to display its sporting prowess in front of a world-wide audience of potentially billions.
The Safety Car has to fulfil stringent requirements; after all, its job is to lead some of the world’s fastest racing cars and drivers around the circuit at high speed, sometimes for several laps at a time. If the speed were too low, the engines in the Formula One machines would overheat and the brakes and tyres would cool down too rapidly. In preparation for its new role among the motor-racing elite, the Coupe from Affalterbach in Germany has been fine-tuned to ensure maximum performance and an extremely long service life.
Acceleration is provided by the AMG eight-cylinder engine with 5.5-litre displacement and an output of 367 hp. Modifications were made to optimise aerodynamics, the cooling system, fuel tank, fuel supply, suspension and brakes.
To enable communication with Race Control, the Safety Car is fitted with a vast array of equipment, including radio systems as well as several TV cameras mounted inside and outside the vehicle. This extra equipment requires its own power supply with a second alternator and battery. Two racing-design bucket seats with 4-point belts, black/grey leather appointments and a titanium-coloured carbon trim emphasise the uniquely special character of the new FIA Safety
Car made by AMG.