Connect with us

GT World Challenge Asia

Aron Replaces Gounon in Climax Mercedes for Sepang

Full driver lineup revealed for GT World Challenge Asia opener at Sepang as Ralf Aron replaces Jules Gounon…

Photo: ADAC Motorsport

Ralf Aron will take the place of Jules Gounon at the Climax Racing Mercedes-AMG team for this weekend’s opening round of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia powered by AWS season at Sepang.

A full entry list released on Monday ahead of the curtain-raiser in Malaysia shows Aron partnering Wang Zhongwei in Climax’s No. 22 Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo in an apparent change of plan for the Chinese team.

Initially, Gounon was slated to contest Sepang as part of a four-round program in Fanatec GT Asia, and was only set to hand over the seat to Aron for the final two events of the year at Okayama and Shanghai.

It comes amid confirmation that Gounon will contest the clashing FIA World Endurance Championship round at Imola in place of an injured Ferdinand Habsburg at Alpine.

Elsewhere, fellow Mercedes-AMG squad Craft-Bamboo Racing’s lineups have now been confirmed, with Daniel Morad partnering Cao Qi in the No. 30 car and Fabian Schiller joining Jeffrey Lee in the sister No. 88 machine.

The Hong Kong team has also announced that Maximilian Goetz and Maro Engel will be part of its crews during the six-round season, filling in for Morad and Schiller respectively for selected but so far undisclosed rounds.

Of the remaining Pro-Am teams that did not have confirmed drivers, Porsche racer Laurin Heinrich joins Lu Wei in Origine Racing’s No. 4 911 GT3 R, while Prince Abu Bakar Ibrahim and Jordan Love team up in the No. 888 Triple Eight JMR Mercedes-AMG.

Heinrich will share his seat with Patrick Pilet, with both contesting three rounds each.

Origine, formerly known as R&B Racing, is also fielding a car in Silver-Am for an unchanged lineup of Leo Ye Hongli and Bo Yuan.

Among their rivals in the class will be Andre Couto and Alex Liu in an Elegant Racing Mercedes-AMG, Jono Lester and Ruan Cun Fan in the Team KRC BMW M4 GT3 and GTO Racing Team Porsche duo Hideto Yasuoka and Brian Lee.

In the Silver class, Ryo Ogawa has been confirmed as Shigekazu Wakisaka’s teammate aboard the LM Corsa Ferrari 296 GT3, while Franky Cheng and Adderly Fong share the Phantom Global Racing-run FAW Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II.

Official practice for the Sepang weekend begins on Friday following a day of testing on Thursday, with qualifying slated for Saturday morning ahead of the first race of the weekend at 2:45 p.m. local time (2:45 a.m. EDT).

The second race will take place on Sunday at 11:30 a.m. (Saturday 11:30 p.m. EDT).

Jamie Klein is Sportscar365's Asian editor. Japan-based Klein, who previously worked for Motorsport Network on the Motorsport.cоm and Autosport titles, covers the FIA World Endurance Championship and SUPER GT, among other series.

Click to comment

More in GT World Challenge Asia