DTM racer Daniel Juncadella beat Mercedes stalwarts Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg to emerge as the outright victor on the manufacturer's annual Stars & Cars end-of-year event held at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Stuttgart.
After Mercedes' drivers conducted demo runs with various machinery to thrill and entertain the crowds as it celebrated its success in F1 and DTM, the competitive leg of the event, which was featured for the very first time, was a tad more serious affair.
Sixteen drivers contested the four knockout rounds using four different types of cars. At the semi-final level, Juncadella prevailed over Rosberg while Pascal Wehrlein beat Hamilton.
The final saw Juncadella defeat Wehrlein 2-0 as the pair manhandled their Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 around the tight indoor course surrounded by 35.000 thrilled spectators.
"I'm absolutely delighted," said Juncadella.
"I felt really comfortable in the SLS AMG GT3 and found a good rhythm. Stars & Cars was a super event - there were so many fans here tonight. Simply incredible. I was nervous going into each of the races, but it's been a very special occasion."
"That was a lot of fun," commented Lewis Hamilton, who ended up third overall.
"The donuts and the drifts were great. I lost the semi-final against Pascal on the start. Unfortunately, I got off to a poor start, but Pascal drove really well. It was incredibly close - there was less than a tenth in it."
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