Akkodis ASP would temporarily wind down its presence in Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS if the team is successful in its pursuit of an LMGT3 entry for the FIA World Endurance Championship.
Team principal Jerome Policand told Sportscar365 that the French squad will not run a combined effort for at least the first year of its potential WEC program, should it achieve its goal of joining the world championship in 2024.
ASP is one of GTWC Europe’s most experienced and successful teams with a presence on the grid since the inaugural season in 2011, picking up numerous titles in both Endurance and Sprint Cup.
The team won the CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa last year with Jules Gounon, Raffaele Marciello and Daniel Juncadella, en route to the Endurance Cup title.
Now, Policand is “pushing” to reach an agreement that would see his organization make its WEC debut as part of the new LMGT3 class in 2024.
He previously revealed that he has been in talks with multiple manufacturers, with Lexus understood to be the most likely candidate.
Speaking at Valencia last weekend, Policand indicated that an LMGT3 deal is close but not finalized, adding: “definitely I will be disappointed if we are not doing WEC next season.”
He said that it would be highly unlikely for the team to continue its Fanatec GT program alongside a potential WEC bid.
“For me, I can carry on in GT2 because it’s, I would say, an amateur championship and because if I do WEC, I will not stop everything,” Policand explained.
“We are a private team, we have customers. It’s not like, ‘OK, I’m in Formula 1 now and forget all the rest.’ The first year will be difficult to do GT World Challenge in GT3. That’s my opinion.”
When asked for a reason, Policand cited the high demands associated with WEC.
“For sure to do it, you need the support of the manufacturer. Because as a private team, the logistics are much higher [in] this type of championship.
“Running the car is more or less the same because it’s a six-hour race, 24 hours.
“But the logistics are so big, it’s like a mini Formula 1 championship. So you need people, you need to be organized.
“Also, I would say, when you step up in a championship, the first year is always difficult, even when you know motor racing. So, I would prefer to be concentrated and to do [as] little mistakes.
“I prefer to keep going, do WEC, do maybe GT4 and GT2 and then come back to GT World Challenge. For me, it makes sense to do it this way. But I can’t say WEC is easy. It’s not.”
Boguslavskiy Could Form Part of LMGT3 Effort
Policand revealed that Timur Boguslavskiy is under consideration to continue with ASP if it switches to a WEC program.
Boguslavskiy, who currently leads both the Fanatec GT Sprint and Endurance Cup standings with ASP, first joined the team in 2019 and has been a core part of the team’s GT3 efforts in recent years.
Policand noted that he would “for sure” consider the Russian driver for its WEC effort, provided he retains his current Silver grading from the FIA.
“For me, if he stays Silver, which should be the case, he could be a very good asset in WEC,” Policand said.
“Because for me, he is among the best silver in GT, if you look at his performance, and how he manages it. Now he is very successful in GT World Challenge.
“He is winning a race overall, which is a big difference. Because when you are in WEC, you can only win the GT class, and not overall. So it’s something he is not used to.
“So, if we go to WEC, I would like to have him in the lineup, but it’s not automatic. I would say, if we go to WEC, it would be 50-50.
“Because I know he is looking for GT World Challenge also. For me, it’s obvious that for us to do both, the first season will be difficult. To come back, yes. Definitely.
“But if I have the chance to go to WEC, the first thing is to be ready at the beginning of January with a container and go to Qatar.”