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Sainteloc Racing Audi tops opening day of testing at Circuit Paul Ricard to launch 2021 season

25 March 2021

Audi squad Saintéloc Racing topped the opening day of pre-season testing at Circuit Paul Ricard (Thursday 25 March), which officially launched the 2021 Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS campaign.

The French squad's cars finished one-two in the morning session, which ran from 09.00 to 12.30 at the French circuit. Frédéric Vervisch set the best time at the wheel of the #26 Audi R8 (1m53.034s), beating the sister #25 car of Christopher Haase by 0.158s. Jules Gounon was next in the #88 AKKA ASP Mercedes-AMG, 0.648s shy of the pace-setting Saintéloc machine. 

Vervisch's time was not beaten in the afternoon session, though Raffaele Marciello came close in the #88 AKKA ASP entry. The Italian ace posted a 1m53.133s to finish the day second overall, splitting the two Saintéloc cars at the top of the order. 

Maro Engel was second in the afternoon run at the wheel of the #6 Toksport WRT Mercedes-AMG, followed by Davide Rigon in the #71 Iron Lynx Ferrari. Today's results can be viewed here.

As well as testing, this season's Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS entry lists were also revealed today. An expanded 29-car grid will tackle the Sprint Cup this term, while 40 cars have committed to the full Endurance Cup schedule. 25 cars will undertake a complete campaign, which also marks an increase from last year.

Among the teams preparing for an Endurance Cup assault is Walkenhorst Motorsport, which revealed its two Pro line-ups on Thursday. The German squad has an impressive selection of drivers at its disposal, including Timo Glock and Marco Wittmann. 

Track action resumes tomorrow morning at 09.00 and runs until 13.00. Following a one-hour lunch break, the test will wrap up with another three hours of running at Circuit Paul Ricard.