Sunny conditions greeted the teams and drivers at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza this morning, with all 52 GT3 cars participating in the first free practice session of this weekend’s Blancpain GT Series round.
Teams went through the paces in order to prepare fully for tomorrow’s TM Performance 3 Hours of Monza, but for some not all went to plan. Just before halfway the #42 Strakka Racing McLaren went off at the Ascari corner, causing a 13-minute red flag interruption. The driver walked away unscathed fortunately.
Eventually it was Filip Salaquarda in the #75 ISR Audi that set the fastest time: he lapped the Monza track in 1’47.858. The white-red-blue R8 LMS proved to be some three tenths of a second quicker than the #26 Sainteloc Racing Audi of Christopher Haase and the #63 Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini of Christian Engelhart.
Behind the Sainteloc Audi there were two more Pro-Am cars in the top-6, proving the high level of the category. Louis Machiels drove the #53 Spirit of Race Ferrari to fifth overall, while the #77 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini ended up in sixth. Not only there were five Pro-Am cars inside the top-10, but also six different manufacturers. Fastest of the Am Cup was the #488 Rinaldi Racing Ferrari, which was marginally quicker than the #888 Kessel Racing Ferrari.
The competitiveness of the Blancpain GT Series was also emphasized by the fact that just over half the field, 27 cars to be precise, ended up within the same secondThis afternoon sees the Pre-Qualifying Session start at 16.05 CEST. It will be streamed live on the Blancpain GT Series website.