Blancpain GT Series competitors have completed Friday running at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, where a rain-hit afternoon session was followed by a more representative evening shift for the 22-car field.
The weather effectively brought free practice 1 to an early end, but a dry track later in the day allowed teams and drivers to prepare for a busy Saturday at the Italian venue.
FREE PRACTICE 1 HIT BY HEAVY RAIN
Rain had already fallen earlier in the afternoon, and more spots began to appear just as the opening session began at 16.20. The conditions quickly worsened, with a heavy summer storm following, though a number of cars did brave the slippery surface and venture out on to the circuit.
It was not a fully representative session, but 15 of the 22 runners completed classified laps, with the #55 Attempto Racing Audi R8 LMS topping the charts with a 1m54.661s. The #19 Grasser Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 was second fastest, with the #66 Attempto-Audi completing a good wet-weather showing for the German squad in P3.
As the session progressed the rain became ever more heavy, to the point that any meaningful running became near impossible. One of the few cars to continuing putting in laps was the #114 Emil Frey Racing Lexus RC F GT3, though this was more of a shakedown for the Swiss squad.
DRY TRACK LEADS TO BUSY SECOND SESSION
The second session began on a dry circuit and, unlike the afternoon run, the weather remained calm throughout.
Beginning at 20.10, the sun set on Misano as drivers and teams carried out final preparations for tomorrow’s qualifying sessions and opening race. Unsurprisingly, the times posted were significantly quicker, with the benchmark almost 20 seconds clear of the best lap set earlier in the day
And it was once again an Attempto-Audi that ended on top of the charts, with a lap of 1m34.643s from Kelvin van der Linde putting the #66 R8 LMS at the head of the field.
The South African racer’s lap came late in the session and saw him knock the #82 Grasser-Lamborghini of Franck Perera from P1. The top-three was completed by the #1 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT machine of Dries Vanthoor.
While Grasser Racing had one car firmly among the front-runners, the evening session was less productive for their #63 machine of Mirko Bortolotti and Christian Engelhart. The reigning overall and Endurance Cup champions managed just five laps before their day was curtailed, giving them plenty of work to do ahead of Saturday.
Indeed, tomorrow promises to be a busy day for all competitors, with qualifying taking place at 13.50 followed by the opening race at 19.40. Sunday’s concluding race is set to get underway at 14.00, with both days forecast to be free of rain. All of the action will be available to watch live on the Blancpain GT Series website.