Mercedes' top teams get ready for Blancpain GT

The Mercedes AMG GT3 ended the season on a high note as HTP Motorsport won the overall Blancpain GT Series title along with some race wins, but the German manufacturer has other strong contenders with other squads, which are on the way to be ready for the 2017 season.

As for HTP Motorsport itself, the 2017 effort will match the big army of Team WRT with Audi as they will align three Mercedes for the Blancpain GT Sprint Cup and will add an extra car for the Blancpain GT Endurance Cup, with only HTP favorite Maximilian Buhk confirmed in the driver lineup.

Another squad with good presence in Blancpain GT that aims for big things this year is AKKA-ASP, which is going to its second season with Mercedes after a long relationship with Ferrari. Tristan Vautier, a race winner with AKKA-ASP last year, will be focused in the Endurance Cup as the French team adds another Pro Cup car to the single one that competed in 2016, and will come again with two Pro-Am Cup entries, for both Sprint and Endurance.

Lineups will be as follows in Pro Cup:

-No. 88 car: DTM guy Daniel Juncadella joins former Indy Lights man Félix Serallés, with AKKA-ASP driver Tristan Vautier joining for the Endurance Cup;

-No. 90 car: Stuart Leonard's former partner Michael Meadows will race alongside GP2 driver Raffaele Marciello, with Aston Martin man Mathias Lauda coming in as the Endurance third driver;

And in the Pro-Am Cup will be like this:

-No. 87 car: ADAC GT Masters star Jules Gounon will be paired with expert amateur Jean-Luc Baubelique while Mauro Ricci joins the lineup for the Endurance Cup;

-No. 89 car: the combo between Jean-Philippe Belloc and Christophe Bourret remains unchaged for the Sprint Cup, and for the Endurance Cup former McLaren GT man Alex Fontana joins sportscar specialist Ludovic Badey and Daniele Perfetti for the Endurance Cup.

Well known team Zakspeed will return to Blancpain GT after sparse participations in previous years and total focus in their ADAC GT Masters and VLN efforts. Two AMG GT3 models will be available in the Pro-Am Cup, with Portuguese driver Rui Aguas joining Kriton Lendoudis and José Balbiani in one of the cars, while GT4 driver Immanuel Vinke is the only confirmed driver in the second car, with the names to be revealed set to be announced during the Blancpain GT tests at Paul Ricard.

PHOTOS: Blancpain GT Series, Zakspeed