Two of GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS’ leading teams, Orange 1 FFF Racing Team and AKKA ASP, returned to the track on Tuesday to shake down their cars.
Each team headed to a track local to its base to run its GT3 machinery for the first time in over two months, benefitting from eased lockdown restrictions in many European countries.
FFF team owner Andrea Caldarelli was joined by reigning GTWC Europe co-champion Marco Mapelli in a single Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo at Misano on Tuesday, with the car still wearing the livery it carried in February’s Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour.
The team pulled out of March’s SRO pre-season test at the last minute in order to prevent its crew from accidentally spreading COVID-19 at a time when northern Italy was the worst-hit region in Europe.
AKKA ASP had a larger presence for its shakedown, meanwhile, which was held at Circuit d’Albi, 20 miles from its base near Toulouse.
The 2018 teams’ champions took one Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo and two AMG GT4s to the test.
Notably, team principal Jerome Policand drove the GT3 car, while Thomas Drouet, who has raced for the team in GT4 competition in recent years, turned laps in the GT4 cars.
Policand hasn’t raced regularly for a few years, and last made an outing in the GT4 International Cup in Bahrain two years ago.
It’s understood that ASP only took Policand and Drouet to the test due to the French government’s restriction on travelling further than 100 km (62 miles), preventing any of its contracted GT3 drivers from attending.