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Marciello, Gounon defend GTWCE Endurance crown with ASP Mercedes

Raffaele Marciello and Jules Gounon will defend their GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup title this year with the ASP Mercedes team alongside Timur Boguslavskiy, headlining a 56-car grid.

#88 AKKA ASP Team Mercedes-AMG GT3: Raffaele Marciello, Jules Gounon, Daniel Juncadella

Photo by: SRO

Marciello and Gounon claimed the Endurance Cup crown last year together with fellow AMG factory driver Daniel Juncadella after following podiums at Imola and Paul Ricard by winning the Spa 24 Hours, while Marciello also earned the overall GTWCE crown after finishing second in the Sprint Cup with Boguslavskiy.

The Russian 22-year-old has driven for the team since 2019, when he won the Endurance Cup silver division, and scored two outright podiums in 2020 when paired with Marciello and DTM race-winner Felipe Fraga.

Boguslavskiy sat out the Endurance Cup last year as he claimed three Sprint Cup wins, beating his tally of two from 2020 when he also finished runner-up alongside Marciello.

The pair will again team up to contest the Sprint Cup, which features a record-breaking 40-car grid.
Gounon and Marciello have already been confirmed for British GT programmes with 2 Seas Motorsport and RAM Racing respectively, while Gounon will also contest the full IMSA SportsCar Championship GTD Pro season - which has three clashes with GTWCE Sprint - alongside Juncadella for WeatherTech Racing.

ASP will enter a second car in the Endurance Cup Pro division anchored by 2021 DTM champion Maximilian Gotz, who switches from the Getspeed squad with which he finished second in last year's Spa 24 Hours.

Gotz, who finished second on his first appearance with the team subbing for Gounon alongside Jim Pla in last year's Magny-Cours Sprint Cup round, will be joined by Thomas Drouet and Lorenzo Ferrari after being left out of AMG's 2023 DTM roster.

He has been linked with a drive with Glickenhaus in the World Endurance Championship.

#88 AKKA ASP Team Mercedes-AMG GT3: Raffaele Marciello, Jules Gounon, Daniel Juncadella

#88 AKKA ASP Team Mercedes-AMG GT3: Raffaele Marciello, Jules Gounon, Daniel Juncadella

Photo by: SRO

The grid for both the Endurance and Sprint elements of GTWCE has been taking shape in recent weeks, with Lamborghini outfit Vincenzo Sospiri Racing fielding a full factory lineup for the first time in the Sprint Cup.

Jordan Pepper and Franck Perera headline its three-car Sprint lineup, but Pepper will link up with new Lamborghini partner team Iron Lynx (following its switch from Ferrari) in Endurance alongside two-time champion Andrea Caldarelli and 2017 winner Mirko Bortolotti.

Audi has announced that factory drivers Mattia Drudi and Dennis Marschall will team up with DTM race-winner Ricardo Feller at the Tresor Orange 1 squad in the Endurance Cup, with Drudi and Feller contesting the Sprint Cup.

Simon Gachet, Christopher Mies and Patric Niederhauser will team up at Sainteloc for the Endurance Cup as well as partnering Endurance Cup silver crew Paul Evrard, Gregoire Demoustier and Erwan Bastard in Sprint.

Porsche squad Dinamic GT Huber Racing has also announced a Pro entry in the Endurance Cup for 2020 Nurburgring winners Christian Engelhart and Sven Muller along with Asian Le Mans Series champion Ayhancan Guven.

Manthey Racing EMA DTM team-mates Thomas Preining and Dennis Olsen will meanwhile share a Rutronik Racing Porsche with 2022 Carrera Cup Germany winner Laurin Henrich.

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