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ASP announces plans for two-car WEC LMGT3 effort with Lexus

Leading GT3 outfit ASP has announced a new partnership with Lexus for a two-car entry into the World Endurance Championship's new LMGT3 class for 2024.

ASP Lexus RC F GT3

The team made the announcement on Tuesday ahead of the start of a two-day test with the Lexus RC F GT3 it hopes to campaign next season, assuming it is granted entry slots.

Toyota's luxury brand Lexus has been linked to a presence in the new LMGT3 class with the existing RC F for some time as it continues development of a next-generation GT3 model based on the GR GT3 Concept, expected to make its WEC debut in 2026.

Jerome Policand's ASP squad, which has campaigned Mercedes GT3 machinery in the GT World Challenge Europe since 2016, had been widely tipped to be the organisation entrusted with this effort.

The team already has an existing relationship with Toyota as it runs the GR Supra GT4 in the French GT series.

As existing Hypercar class manufacturers are to be given priority for LMGT3 grid slots, it appears certain that Lexus will be among the marques represented in the first season for the class next year.

While ASP's announcement makes no mention of drivers, only stating that the line-ups "will be announced in a few weeks", existing Toyota WEC driver Jose Maria Lopez is believed to be on hand at Portimao to take part in the test.

It comes as Lopez is expected to lose his seat in Toyota's Hypercar squad for 2024 to ex-Formula 1 racer Nyck de Vries.

Jack Hawksworth and Ben Barnicoat, who like Lopez were present at Portimao anyway for last weekend's European Le Mans Series finale at the circuit, are also set for track time, already being familiar with the RC F from racing it to the IMSA SportsCar Championship's GTD Pro crown with Vasser Sullivan Racing.

#88 Akkodis ASP Team, Mercedes-AMG GT3: Raffaele Marciello, Timur Boguslavskiy

#88 Akkodis ASP Team, Mercedes-AMG GT3: Raffaele Marciello, Timur Boguslavskiy

Photo by: SRO

However, the other pro driver in what will be a two-car effort besides Lopez is expected to be Toyota WEC Challenge driver Ritomo Miyata, who is set to leave Super GT as a result.

LMGT3 rules dictate that each line-up must have at least one bronze- and one silver-rated driver per car.

Should the ASP Lexus effort get the grid slots to race in the WEC, it will mean a return to the Le Mans 24 Hours for Policand's team for the first time since 2014, when it ran a Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 in the GTE Am class.

Since its switch to Mercedes machinery, it has established itself as one of the top squads in GT World Challenge Europe, winning its fourth overall Pro title this year with Raffaele Marciello and Timur Boguslavskiy.

Marciello and Boguslavskiy also captured this year's Pro title in the Endurance Cup alongside Jules Gounon, giving ASP a second title in succession in that category. It also won the equivalent Sprint Cup prize back in 2018.

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