The general rehearsal for the upcoming 24 Hours of Spa, the 1000 km of Circuit Paul Ricard once again lived up to all expectations. With excellent weather (and high temperatures as a bonus) the 49 cars fought from the start to the end. As far as the AKKA-ASP clan is concerned, they have added two more wins to the team record. Behind the wheel of the #90 Mercedes-AMG GT3, Nico Bastian, Timur Boguslavskyi and Felipe Fraga dominated the Silver Cup while Jean-Luc Beaubelique, Mauro Ricci and Jim Pla claimed a fine victory in the Pro-AM category with the #87. The only shadow comes from the retirement of the #88 driven by Raffaele Marciello, Michael Meadows and Vincent Abril, due to a broken suspension just before the mid-race point. There is no doubt that Team AKKA-ASP will appreciate June’s mini-break before a marathon July which includes events in Misano, Lédenon, the Official Tests for the 24 Hours of Spa, Zandvoort and…the Total 24 Hours of Spa!
Now considered a « classic » on the Blancpain GT Series calendar, the 1000km of Circuit Paul Ricard took place this weekend in optimal weather conditions. With no fewer than 49 cars entered, with 147 drivers representing 10 different brands, the level was high, predicted a close race.
A complicated weekend for the #88 Mercedes-AMG GT3
Free practice set the pace, with Raffaele Marciello setting the second-fastest time as well as good performances from his team-mates Michael Meadows and Vincent Abril. Unfortunately, going over a kerb in a rather ‘emphatic’ way, the lower sump was damaged, which had a detrimental effect on the engine. Of course, despite Lello’s second-fastest time in qualifying, these did not happen in the best way, and the verdict was clear: the engine had to be changed. According to the Series regulations, this engine change meant that the car had to start the 6-hour race from the pit lane. The start of the race was therefore bound to be complicated, even if the car was definitely competitive.
Round 3 - PAUL RICARD
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