CHAMPCAR/CART: Mercedes-Benz E55 PPG Pace Car Debuts

Mercedes-Benz E55 PPG Pace Car Begins Service In The CART FedEx Championship Series Matching "Limited Edition" Mercedes-Benz Mountain Bike Debuts As Well MONTVALE, N.J. (April 26, 1999) -- Mercedes-Benz enlisted the help of Hollywood ...

Mercedes-Benz E55 PPG Pace Car Begins Service In The CART FedEx Championship Series Matching "Limited Edition" Mercedes-Benz Mountain Bike Debuts As Well

MONTVALE, N.J. (April 26, 1999) -- Mercedes-Benz enlisted the help of Hollywood stuntman Wayne Croasdale to debut the 1999 Mercedes-Benz E55* sedan in the PPG Pace Car fleet at the Long Beach (Calif.) Grand Prix April 16, round three of the CART FedEx Championship Series. Croasdale, stuntman for the USA Network series Pacific Blue and downhill mountain bike racing champion, used a 40-yard sprint to build enough speed to jump a "limited edition" Mercedes-Benz mountain bike* over the E55 using a three-foot high ramp as his launching pad. "That bike really flew," said Croasdale," 36, from Palmdale, Calif. "I knew the bike was light, but it went a lot farther than I thought it would. I could have jumped several cars." While the bike can fly through the air, the new E55 four-door supercar has the tools to fly around the race track. With 349 horsepower and an enormous 391 lbs.-ft. of torque from a 5.5-liter V8 engine built exclusively for this model, the Mercedes-Benz E55 can blast from zero-to-60 mph in just 5.4 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited to 155 miles per hour. Painted in PPG's Illusion Blue with a Harlequin metalflake imbedded in the paint, the E55 is the second AMG-modified Mercedes sedan to see track duty in the past two seasons. The Mercedes-Benz C43 Safety Car began service last season as CART Chief Steward Wally Dallenbach's on-track vehicle. The 302-horsepower C43 is painted in series-sponsor FedEx's special purple and orange livery. The C43 features AMG racing-derived brake design, and the E55 shares this technology as well. Two-piston floating calipers and two-piece floating discs control heat better than one-piece rotors and stand up to hard, repeated usage. Adapted from AMG race cars, the discs float on a circle of steel pins, which minimize heat transfer to the wheel hubs, bearings and suspension parts. The front brake discs are massive at 13.2 inches. The vented 11.8-inch rear brakes are taken from the V12-powered Mercedes-Benz SL600 roadster. Motor sports fans will get to see the performance of the E55 first-hand at each of the remaining 17 CART races this season, as the series visits some of the most challenging road and street courses, short ovals and superspeedways in the world. To meet this challenge, the E55 features superior handling characteristics thanks to ASR traction control--standard on all E-Class models. This sophisticated system detects when one rear wheel is spinnin g faster than the other and selectively applies the brake to that wheel to restore straight-line traction and stability. Should braking action not be enough, ASR will reduce engine power by backing off the electronic throttle, more quickly than the driver could.

The ASR is complimented by the extraordinary Electronic Stability Program (ESP), which is standard on the E55, and can detect and help prevent an impending spin or slide. ESP actually corrects understeer ("plowing") and oversteer ("fishtailing") by braking one wheel, thus helping to keep the car going where the driver is steering it. The system works at all speeds on all road surfaces. As for the Mercedes-Benz mountain bike, it too features performance that sets it apart. Manufactured by AMP Research, the bike features an ultra-lightweight aluminum frame with full suspension and high-tech carbon fiber forks. Front and rear disk brakes provide incredible stopping power, while Shimano's XT 24-speed gearing system offers shifting options for the most challenging slopes. Mercedes-Benz, the official car of CART, provides racing engines to five teams and seven drivers in the CART FedEx Championship Series, in addition to sponsorship of professional tennis and golf events. The Mercedes Super 9 are nine tennis tournaments among the richest and most prestigious on the ATP Tour. The Mercedes Super 9 makes three stops in the United States: Indian Wells, Calif.; Key Biscayne, Fla.; and Cincinnati. The international stops on the Mercedes Super 9 trail include Monte Carlo, Monaco, Hamburg, Germany, Rome, Toronto, Stuttgart, Germany, and Paris. Mercedes hosts the PGA TOUR's season-opening Mercedes Championships at Kapalua's Plantation Course in Maui, Hawaii, each January. The Mercedes Championships features a unique format limited to winners of PGA TOUR official money events from the previous year's play. Each round of the Mercedes Championships will be featured live in prime-time on ESPN Jan. 6-9, 2000.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Wally Dallenbach