Thomas Neubauer put the #15 Tech 1 Racing Lexus on top in this morning's pre-qualifying session at Misano. The Frenchman beat Luca Stolz (#4 HRT Mercedes-AMG) and Dries Vanthoor (#32 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT) in the 80-minute run, which kicked off a busy day at the opening Sprint Cup contest.
It was a particularly impressive showing given that Neubauer and teammate Aurelien Panis will compete in the Silver Cup class this weekend. But, having shown excellent pace when the GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS season began last month at Imola, the Tech 1 crew looks capable of running at the front of the overall order at Misano.
Neubauer posted a best time of 1m31.826s, beating Stolz by 0.129s, while Vanthoor was a further 0.064s in arrears. All 22 cars that will compete this weekend were on-track in pre-qualifying, with the top-17 covered by just one second.
The leading trio were followed by Nelson Panciatici (#107 CMR Bentley), Raffaele Marciello (#88 AKKA ASP Mercedes-AMG) and Kelvin van der Linde (#31 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT), while the Pro-Am ranks were led by the #93 Sky Tempesta Racing Ferrari. Eddie Cheever III recorded a 1m32.414s, placing 10th overall and five spots clear of the closest class contender. A full result list can be viewed via the link at the bottom of this page.
Pre-qualifying concluded without incident and sets the stage for a pair of qualifying sessions, which will run back-to-back from 13.20. These will establish the grids for the opening two races, the first of which begins at 19.15 and concludes just as the sun sets. All of the action will be streamed live on the GT World Challenge Europe website and Facebook pages, as well as the GT World YouTube channel.