Vautier, Rosenqvist add sports cars to their plate in 2016

Photo: Team AKKA-ASP
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Tristan Vautier and Felix Rosenqvist – one driver who hopes to have some sort of Verizon IndyCar Series presence this year and another driver who was confirmed earlier this week for the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires season – will add sports cars to their plate in 2016.

The two will share the pro class entry Mercedes-AMG GT3 for the Team AKKA-ASP squad in the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup, as part of the Jerome Policand-led team’s three-car effort.

“The new element will be our pro crew, which will bring together two top drivers. Tristan Vautier, well-known to the team as he has raced with us in the Blancpain on a few occasions, will be joined by the reigning FIA European Formula 3 Champion, Felix Rosenqvist,” Policand said in a team release.

“These two drivers, both with brilliant single-seater careers, will face a heavy challenge up against the GT specialists. Tristan Vautier, an Indy Lights Champion and an IndyCar driver, has never hid his pleasure at racing in GT, and is already delighted to pick up this new challenge.

“His team-mate, Felix Rosenqvist, has an impressive single-seater career record at the age of just 24. He is the only driver to have won the major F3 events, namely the Macau Grand Prix (twice), the F3 Masters in Zandvoort (twice) and the Pau Grand Prix. These two young wolves should have great potential together.”

Vautier will have the month of May available for any Indianapolis 500 opportunities, should it arise. Last year, he was due to miss the race for a Blancpain GT commitment with AKKA-ASP, but wound up qualifying one Dale Coyne Racing car and racing another one.

For Rosenqvist, it will make for a particularly busy year, and fortunately for him there are no Indy Lights conflicts.

The 24-year-old Swede will have the full season with Belardi Auto Racing in Indy Lights – an 18-race campaign – and then the five-round Blancpain GT Series commitment, plus the testing and reserve role with Mercedes’ DTM program.

Rosenqvist is just off an Indy Lights test at Phoenix yesterday. Here was his initial comments:

Here’s the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup schedule:

  • April 8-10: Misano, Italy
  • May 7-8: Brands Hatch, England
  • July 1-3: Nürburgring, Germany
  • August 26-28: Budapest, Hungary
  • October 1-2: Barcelona, Spain