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AKKA ASP team manager #jeromepolicand talks about the treble title win in the drivers’ and team championships of the 2019 Blancpain GT Series.
This is what happened: Results and facts
Stat-Attack – #Sochi: Since first hosting Formula 1 in the 2014 season, the #Sochi Autodrom has been a happy hunting ground for Mercedes. This year, the team faced some new challenges, but in the end, it turned out to be not only the sixth consecutive win in the Russian Grand Prix but also the eighth one-two finish of the year. For #lewishamilton, it was the 82nd Grand Prix success of his career, the ninth of the current season and the fourth in #Sochi. Lewis also held the lead in a Formula 1 race for the 143rd time on Sunday, passing the mark set by the previous record holder, Michael Schumacher, who led the field in 142 of his 306 Grands Prix.
Title treble, championship runners-up and class successes in the Blancpain GT Series: Mercedes-AMG Motorsport signed off from this year’s Blancpain GT Series with several championship trophies. At the grand finale in Barcelona, the number 90 car fielded by AKKA ASP Team finished first in class in the Silver Cup as well as fifth overall to crown a very special season: the team with its driver squad of Nico Bastian (GER), Timur Boguslavskiy (RUS) and Felipe Fraga (BRA) ended the campaign as leaders in the Silver Cup overall standings and in their Sprint and Endurance class. Moreover, Bastian lifted his third individual champions’ trophy at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Like his team, the 29-year-old pulled off a treble in the Silver Cup, namely the overall, sprint and endurance titles. Meanwhile, it had looked like the performance and sports car brand from Affalterbach was in contention for both the drivers’ and the team titles. However, an incident in the last few minutes of the final race dropped Maro Engel, Luca Stolz (both GER) and Yelmer Buurman (NED) in the number 4 Mercedes-AMG GT3 some way down the field. The Mercedes-AMG Team BLACK FALCON trio nevertheless managed to hold on to the runner-up spot in this gruelling series. Joining the number 90 and number 4 crews in celebrating a successful conclusion to the season were Hubert Haupt, Patrick Assenheimer (both GER) and David Fumanelli (ITA) in the number 6 BLACK FALCON after taking second place in the Silver Cup in Barcelona and making it a one-two for Mercedes-AMG in class. Assenheimer and Haupt also made sure of the runner-up spot in the Endurance category of the Silver Cup. Also jubilant were Jim Pla (FRA, #87) and the AKKA ASP Team who had the satisfaction of finishing as runners-up in the driver’s and team standings of the Pro-Am class. Contributing to an impressive all-round performance were Tom Onslow-Cole (GBR) and Remon Vos (NED): although the RAM #racing duo had to park their number 74 car early in the race, they still managed to finish the year second in the Pro-Am Endurance class.
Victory in the Blancpain GT Sports Club: The Blancpain GT Sports Club season came to a conclusion last weekend at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. In the first 45-minute race of the weekend, Denis Remenyako (RUS) left the entire field trailing as he cruised to victory. The Capital #racing Team finished the campaign sixth on 82 points.
Gratifying end to the 2019 Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia: Mercedes-AMG Motorsport takes away two championship titles from the final of this year’s Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia at the Shanghai International Circuit. Roelof Bruins (NED) of Solite Indigo #racing is the 2019 driver’s champion and iRace·Win are team champions. For Bruins sharing the number 97 Mercedes-AMG GT3 with Manuel Metzger (GER), a P4 and a P5 were enough for him to come out on top. A GT4 class victory by Ringo Chong (SGP) and Setiawan Santoso (INA) in the first race and a second and third place for the 111 and 199 Mercedes-AMG GT4s in the second race sealed the deal for iRace·Win. Rounding off a successful weekend were Craft-Bamboo #racing. Jeffrey Lee (TWN) and Alessio Picariello (BEL) in the number 88 Mercedes-AMG GT3 finished the second race in P2 overall and first in the Pro-Am class.
Triumphs and podiums in the #adacgtmasters: A victory, a P2 and a P3 brought the 2019 #adacgtmasters to a successful conclusion for Mercedes-AMG. #indydontje (NED) and #maximiliangotz (GER) of MANN-FILTER Team HTP Motorsport drove a lights-to-flag victory in Saturday’s race at the Sachsenring and ended the campaign third in the drivers’ championship. Team Zakspeed BKK Mobil Oil #racing made it onto the podium with both cars: Kelvin Snoeks (NED) and Mick Wishofer (AUT) crossed the finish line in third place on Saturday, and on Sunday Daniel Keilwitz (GER) and Jimmy Eriksson (SWE) in the number 21 car were runners-up. Meanwhile, Marvin Dienst (GER) and Aidan Read (AUS) of Schütz Motorsport were making sure of their second place in the Junior championship.
In the #adacgt4germany, also hosted by the Sachsenring, Tim Heinemann and Luke Wankmüller (both GER) secured a P2 podium for HP #racing International in the final race of the season. Bremotion’s Oliver Mayer (GER) clinched the title in the Trophy classification.
Excellent run of results continues in the #VLN: Mercedes-AMG enjoyed a fourth victory in a row in the seventh round of the #VLN Langstreckenmeisterschaft Nürburgring. Dominik Baumann (AUT) and Fabian Schiller (GER) in the number 2 Mercedes-AMG GT3 braved difficult conditions in the rainy Eifel hills to record a maiden #VLN win for their team, GetSpeed Performance. The Mercedes-AMG Team MANN-FILTER trio of Lance David Arnold (GER), Edoardo Mortara (ITA) and Tim Scheerbarth (GER) in the number 48 car made it a one-two for the performance and sports car brand based in Affalterbach.
BLACK FALCON Team KNUFFI celebrated their fifth win of the season in the SP8T class courtesy of Mehmet Mustafa Kaya (TUR) and Yannick Mettler (SUI) in the number 152 Mercedes-AMG GT4. Tobias Müller (GER), Tim Scheerbarth and Tristan Viidas (EST) in the number 162 BLACK FALCON Team IDENTICA sister car were runners-up in the SP10 class.
Three questions for Jérôme Policand
AKKA ASP have dominated the Blancpain GT Series Silver Cup this season. With overall victory as well as the Sprint and Endurance titles, the French Mercedes-AMG Customer #racing Team lead by team principal #jeromepolicand (FRA) and driver Nico Bastian (GER), pulled off a remarkable treble in the drivers’ and team championships.
Jérôme, congratulations on the treble. What was the key to your success this season?
Jérôme Policand: I think that, in terms of quality, we had the best Silver Cup line-up in our squad. Felipe Fraga and Nico Bastian have been putting in top performances without exception throughout the year. And although Timur Boguslavskiy had no prior experience of GT #racing, he was consistently fast out there on the track. For his age, he displays impressive maturity. As a result, we have managed to make it onto the podium in every race, and we didn’t have a single retirement. Our consistency has therefore played a significant role in our winning so many titles.
What was your personal highlight of the season?
Jérôme Policand: The weekend in Budapest went like a dream. Two overall victories, two wins in the Silver Cup, two further podiums and a victory in the Pro Am. In addition, we had five general and class pole positions as well as two fastest race laps. That was really incredible.
AKKA ASP signed up to the Mercedes-AMG Customer #racing programme in 2016. How has the partnership developed since then?
Jérôme Policand: That was the most important decision our team has made in the last 20 years – and it has been thoroughly vindicated. Since then, we have grown continuously as a team. Our dealings with AMG are always pragmatic and efficient – and quite apart from the technical aspect, we feel at home with them. We have set ourselves some ambitious targets for next season. We aim to be contenders for championship titles again in the Blancpain GT Series, GT Sports Club and GT4 France. And we may even contest the occasional race in the USA, but we’ll have to wait and see about that.
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