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AKKA-ASP Plotting North American Expansion for 2020

AKKA-ASP exploring American options next year in addition to expected European programs…

Photo: Dirk Bogaerts/SRO

2018 Blancpain GT Series teams’ champion AKKA-ASP is aiming to expand into North American competition next year with programs possible in both GT3 and GT4. 

Team principal Jerome Policand told Sportscar365 at the FIA Motorsport Games, where Auto Sport Promotion is fielding cars for France and China, that the team has aspirations to compete outside of Europe.

He explained that it would likely start out with a Pirelli GT4 America program for one of its existing clients before pursuing GT3 options in GT World Challenge America.

The decorated French squad is the current Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup Silver class champion and has multiple race wins in European GT3 and GT4 competition.

“Next year, for sure we should be in GT World Challenge [Europe] again, endurance and sprint,” said Policand, who suggested the team will continue to run Mercedes-AMG GT3s.

“How many cars, I don’t know yet, but we are also working on two new projects.

“We are working on racing in the US, maybe with a connection with an American team, and I hope to do one car in Intercontinental [GT Challenge] too.”

Policand hinted that the Pirelli GT4 America entry would likely be in the single-driver Sprint format.

“The original plan was to run a GT4 because one of my drivers who is doing the French championship, Benjamin Ricci, is now based in Dallas for work purposes,” he explained.

“He has no time to fly back to Europe and so on, so he asked me to do a project in GT4.

“Now we will be in GT4 and maybe have one car in GT3. For the first year I need a team based in the US, or it is too late now [to do ourselves].”

Benjamin Ricci is the son of Mauro Ricci, who is the chairman and CEO of the AKKA Technologies company that has backed ASP’s GT effort for the last five seasons. 

Policand, whose team has run Mercedes cars since 2016, stressed the importance of forging a partnership with an existing team if he is to pursue a GT World Challenge America entry.

DXDT Racing was the only outfit to run a sustained Mercedes program in the top SRO America series this year, with one car on a full-season basis and another contesting the first six rounds.

“We have done a lot in Europe and I think there is potential in the United States,” said Policand.

“At this stage, we would prefer to start something with GT4 and GT3. We have the knowledge because last year we did Laguna Seca which was a great experiment for the team. I would like to carry on with that.

“I would need to work with another team… in the first year, we will not take care of the logistics, but we will take care of the technical side.

“We will be able to know more about the program in the next three to four weeks.”

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365 and e-racing365, with a focus on the FIA World Endurance Championship and various electric racing series.

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