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Goetz to Replace Gounon at Akkodis ASP for Magny-Cours

2014 Sprint Cup champion to make series return with one-off appearance at Magny-Cours…

Photo: GruppeC Photography

Reigning DTM champion Maximilian Goetz will replace Jules Gounon for round two of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Sprint Cup season at Magny-Cours, the Akkodis ASP Team has confirmed.

Mercedes-AMG factory driver Gounon has been assigned to drive for Kenny Habul’s SunEnergy1 Racing organization at the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour, which takes place on the same May 14-15 weekend as the Sprint Cup fixture in France.

Gounon was due to contest the full GTWC Europe Sprint Cup season alongside Jim Pla in the No. 88 Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo.

Akkodis ASP team principal Jerome Policand told Sportscar365 that he tried to make a case for Gounon to remain in the No. 88 Mercedes-AMG at Magny-Cours to give the Frenchman a chance to compete for the Sprint Cup title.

“That is one of the deals when you employ a works driver,” he said. “At the end, AMG has the last word and, for them, this race is very important. I don’t say that Sprint is not very important, but it’s more of a private [team] championship.

“The main problem in GT now is that there are so many championships, there are clashes everywhere. Habul is pushing to have Jules. He is his favorite driver.”

Mercedes-AMG then helped to assign a new factory driver for Akkodis ASP Team’s Magny-Cours bid, with DTM aces Goetz and Lucas Auer emerging as potential options.

Magny-Cours will mark Goetz’s first Sprint Cup appearance since his 2014 championship campaign when the competition was known as the Blancpain GT Sprint Series.

The German driver primarily shared HTP Motorsport’s Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 with Maximilian Buhk, but won the title on his own due to Buhk missing an event.

Goetz is currently competing in the DTM for Winward Racing and finished 11th and fifth in the two races at Portimao that kicked off the 2022 season last weekend.

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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