Delayed Mercedes-AMG AKKA-ASP arrives in Indianapolis – Sportscar365
AKKA-ASP’s Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo arrived in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway paddock in time for Saturday morning’s pre-qualifying session.
The French team brought the car’s container to the paddock just after 5.30am and has been working ever since to prepare the vehicle and install other equipment for the remainder of the eight-hour race weekend.
Technical director Guillaume Andrieux said ASP had “fought” to free his car from the port of Norfolk in Virginia – 730 miles away – where it had been delayed for several days after crossing the Atlantic from the 24 Hours of Spa TotalEnergies.
Raffaele Marciello, Daniel Juncadella and Timur Boguslavskiy share the car during the second round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli.
“The container arrived at 5:25 am and we opened the container at 6 am,” Andrieux told Sportscar365.
“We have been fighting with the port since Tuesday to get it out. Then we fought for truck drivers and so on.
“It was finally released yesterday morning. We drove him on it and he had to make a mandatory stop for driving times. He drove as fast as he could get so far.
“It was 1,200 [kilometers] drive.”
AKKA-ASP borrowed a Mercedes-AMG from US company DXDT Racing to complete Thursday’s paid practice session and Friday’s free practice.
Marciello had the third fastest lap in this final session, behind Jules Gounon of Mercedes-AMG Team Craft-Bamboo Racing and Dries Vanthoor of Audi Sport Team WRT.
Andrieux said AKKA-ASP was grateful for DXDT’s support and said the loan allowed his team to prepare for the weekend, despite the unavailability of their own car.
“We were very lucky and grateful to DXDT for donating their car,” he said. “It really helped us a lot. This is the first time for us on this track.
“The first day was the discovery of the track. The second day was wet. It was good to do some procedures and check other things on the track and not waste too much time in the competition with the rain.
“The big day starts today with our car, but we are not starting from scratch.
Andrieux added that the team are confident to embark on this morning’s 90-minute pre-qualifying session.
“The car was ready to go. We just have to do the setup and the technical checks, ”he said.
“We hope we get it at 8:30 am on the track. If we waste a few minutes [it’s OK] but at least we’re ready to run it.