Thomas Neubauer put Team WRT on top in free practice at Circuit Paul Ricard with a rapid late lap at the wheel of the #30 Audi.
The French ace posted a 1m50.020s during the final five minutes of the session to establish the Silver Cup contender at the top of the overall classification. Neubauer was 0.085s quicker than the #71 Iron Lynx Ferrari of Davide Rigon, while Steijn Schothorst also left it late to put the #4 Mercedes-AMG Team GetSpeed entry third on the charts.
The #51 Iron Lynx Ferrari took fourth, followed by the #63 Emil Frey Racing Lamborghini. Next up was Neubauer's closest Silver Cup rival, the #87 Akkodis ASP Mercedes-AMG, which placed sixth overall with Thomas Drouet at the wheel.
Mercedes-AMG led both the Pro-Am and Gold Cup standings in free practice. A 1m55.320s ensured that Dominik Baumann was an impressive P9 overall in the #20 SPS Automotive Performance machine, which scored the opening Pro-Am win of the season last time out at Imola. In the Gold Cup, Winward Racing led the way thanks to a 1m55.593s from Lorenzo Ferrari. A shade over one second split the top-30 cars in what was an especially close contest.
It was not a happy session for Beechdean AMR. The #95 Aston Martin suffered a big crash early on, which resulted in a stoppage of some 20 minutes while the barriers were repaired. Marco Sørensen was at the wheel when the accident occurred and was subsequently checked at the circuit medical centre as a precaution.
The session was staged in very different conditions than those seen during this morning's bronze test. Heavy rain had soaked the track for the opening run, but it was sunny and dry by the time the full field emerged at 14:20. This should prevail for the remainder of the event, with no further rain forecast over the coming days.
Competitors will be back on-track at 19:20 for pre-qualifying. Before that, the Fanatec Esports GT Pro Series stages its second race of the season at 17:15. This will be broadcast live, as will tomorrow's qualifying (11:30) and race (18:00).
FRIDAY 3 JUNE
18:10 - Fanatec Esports GT Pro Series LIVE
19:20 - Pre-Qualifying
SATURDAY 4 JUNE
11:30 - Qualifying LIVE
18:00 - 1000km Race LIVE