The Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Team Zakspeed BKK Mobil Oil Racing Photo: ADAC GT Masters
The Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Team Zakspeed BKK Mobil Oil Racing Photo: ADAC GT Masters

Dorian Boccolacci: 'I want to be a factory driver'

21-year-old Frenchman set to line up in Zakspeed Mercedes-AMG for first time

From Formula 2 to the ADAC GT Masters – Dorian Boccolacci has a definite aim in mind in GT3 racing.

Like most young racing drivers, he nursed the dream of competing in Formula 1 for a long time. He has won many kart racing titles and triumphed in Formula Renault and GP3. He finished fourth in the Formula 2 race at Monaco in 2019, which he regards as a highlight of his career to date. "It was really, really special," he told us. "I come from near Cannes which is not far from Monaco. I used to go there a lot as a child to watch Formula 1. Being able to compete at Monaco and almost finish on the podium was amazing, for sure!" But despite being close to achieving his dream of contesting grands prix, he decided to change tack last season. "Getting a Formula 1 cockpit is extremely tough," he continued. "My goal is to become a works driver and race professionally. That’s why I switched to GT3 last year, because lots of manufacturers are involved."

Boccolacci is now switching to the ADAC GT Masters after contesting his first races at an international level in 2019, driving an Audi R8 LMS. He has two main reasons for joining the Super Sports Car League, he told us: "Firstly, car manufacturers are very keen on the ADAC GT Masters, which is evidenced by the large number of works drivers taking part. Secondly, the standard of driving is very high, and that’s obviously a terrific challenge. If you can achieve good results in this series, you have an excellent chance of winning a place in a manufacturer’s squad."

He sees fellow Frenchmen, Jules Gounon and Mathieu Jaminet, as his role models. They were put under contract by Bentley and Porsche after their respective ADAC GT Masters championship wins in 2017 and 2018. "It would be great if I could continue this series of successes, and that’s the goal," said Boccolacci optimistically. Two-time Le Mans winner Romain Dumas is another French driver that Boccolacci would like to emulate: "I want to be like him and compete in as many different motorsport disciplines as possible, because I can only benefit from that as a driver," he added bullishly. He has already shown in some style that he can achieve success away from smooth tarmac race circuits by winning the Trophée Andros ice racing championship title in 2018 when he even posted strong times in a rally car.

He now also hopes to be equally successful in a GT3 car. However, the upcoming season currently holds two big unknowns in store for him, since his team-mate has not yet been decided and he has still to drive the Mercedes-AMG GT3. "Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to do any testing yet, because of the current break in the season, but we’re hoping to go testing at the Lausitzring before the official tests in mid-July," he told us. "I can’t wait to see how the car drives. I think I’ll soon get used to it. The car has been really good these past few years, as we’ve seen." In his opinion, the weight of the vehicle will make the biggest difference when compared to the single-seater cars he’s driven so far: "A GT3 sports car is much heavier and therefore slower than a formula racing car when changing direction. GT3 cars also have ABS and traction control. There are a couple of other things that will also be new to me, such as sharing the vehicle with someone else and the driver handover."

Boccalacci is very pleased with his outfit, Zakspeed BKK Mobil Oil Racing, and said: "The team got in touch with me and we soon reached an agreement. They are very professional, and this represents a great opportunity for me. I want to do my best and steadily improve. I hope that I can soon become a contender up front, because I always want to do everything as well as possible and be satisfied with my performance. I’m usually at my happiest when competing up front, so that’s my goal this year."

GT3 newcomer Boccolacci doesn’t just want to entertain fans at the race track, he is very ‘social media savvy’ and regularly posts funny videos of himself. Boccolacci: "I like the opportunities that social media gives you. I’m always very professional at the racetrack, but of course, there are other sides to my personality, which is what I like to show to fans."

2020 Season