A four-hour official test session has kicked off this weekend's Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS Sprint Cup event at Misano.
Team WRT topped the timing screens with its #32 Audi, which clinched a pair of victories at the Italian track last season on route to championship glory for Dries Vanthoor and Charles Weerts. AKKA ASP was second and third with its #87 and #88 Mercedes-AMG entries, while JOTA ensured that McLaren was the best of the non-German brands by taking fourth. Mercedes-AMG Team Toksport completed the top-five.
The weekend ahead looks set to be particularly competitive as Misano will host the biggest Sprint Cup field since the close of the 2017 season. Indeed, the entry list has now expanded to 30 cars with the addition of a third Audi from Saintéloc Racing. Finlay Hutchison and Markus Winkelhock will share the #27 machine, expanding on their existing Endurance Cup partnership with the French team.
What's more, the weekend will feature one of the most diverse support line-ups of the season. The Fanatec GT2 European Series will stage the third round of its inaugural campaign following events at Monza and Hockenheim. There is sprint and endurance tin-top action courtesy of ATCC Touring Cars and TCR DSG Europe respectively, while Mitjet International returns to the bill having also competed at Magny-Cours. There is also domestic single-seater competition courtesy of FX3 and TopJet FX 2000 Formula Trophy.
Misano will be the third of five Sprint Cup rounds staged in 2021 and comes a month before the marquee TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa (29 July–1 August). Preparations will begin on Thursday with paid testing, followed by 80-minute Free Practice (11:50) and Pre-Qualifying (17:00) sessions on Friday.
Qualifying 1 takes place at 09:45 on Saturday morning and will set the grid for Race 1 at 15:00. The same format will be repeated on Sunday, with Qualifying 2 at 09:00 and Race 2 at 14:00. All of the action will be streamed live across the series' social media platforms and the GT World YouTube channel.