This weekend's GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS event at the Nürburgring is officially underway after Friday evening's bronze test kicked off proceedings at the German venue.
A total of 15 cars tackled the one-hour session, which is mandatory for all bronze-graded drivers. The #74 RAM Racing Mercedes-AMG topped the times thanks to Martin Konrad, who is making his first appearance of the season alongside Remon Vos and Tom Onslow-Cole. Rinaldi Racing's #488 Ferrari was second quickest, followed by the #108 CMR Bentley.
Two red flag periods restricted running during the opening 20 minutes. The first was caused by the #111 JP Motorsport Mercedes-AMG spinning at turn 17, which caused a brief stoppage. The second was more lengthy and came after the #26 Sainteloc Racing Audi hit the turn 6 barrier. A further red flag during the final 10 minutes was considerably shorter.
This afternoon's session kicked off what promises to be a busy weekend at the Nürburgring. On Saturday, free practice begins at 09.00 and is followed at 13.35 by pre-qualifying. Competitors will then have a chance to study their data before the all-important qualifying session at 19.10. Six hours of racing will follow on Sunday, with the green flag set to fly at 11.45.
A number of teams have tweaked their line-ups since the original entry list was issued last week. This includes two new additions in Orange1 FFF Racing's Silver Cup Lamborghini, where Baptiste Moulin is joined by Jonathan Cecotto and Ricky Collard. It will be a busy event for Cecotto, who will also contest a pair of Lamborghini Super Trofeo races at the Nürburgring.
Having driven the #5 HRT Mercedes-AMG at the Imola season opener, Finlay Hutchison moves to the #55 Attempto Racing Audi this weekend. His spot at HRT is taken by Joel Camathias, who joins Timothe Buret (#15 Tech1 Racing Lexus) and Valentin Hasse-Clot (#188 Garage 59 Aston Martin) in contesting both GT World Challenge Europe and the GT4 European Series at the Nürburgring.
Initially slated to run in the Am Cup, CMR has switched its #108 Bentley to the Pro-Am class. This has led to a driver shuffle, with Petru Razvan Umbrarescu moving over from the sister #107 car and Nelson Panciatici taking the Romanian's place alongside Seb Morris and Pierre Alexandre Jean. Finally, at AKKA ASP, Thomas Drouet slots into the #87 Mercedes-AMG to compete for Pro-Am honours alongside Fabien Barthez and Jim Pla.
As ever, extensive TV and live-streaming options will be available for fans to follow every second of the action. For the first time, this will include a German commentary feed provided in collaboration with NürburgringTV, which will run alongside the established English and French streams.