The #99 Tresor Attempto Racing Audi beat some big names to top spot in Pre-Qualifying at Monza thanks to a standout performance from Lorenzo Patrese.
The 17-year-old Silver Cup contender posted a 1m46.568s to take the headlines at the end of this afternoon's 90-minute session. Simon Gachet put the #25 Saintéloc Junior Team Audi second overall with a 1m46.632, followed by the #88 Akkodis ASP Mercedes-AMG. The latter paced this morning's Free Practice, but was 0.169s shy of the benchmark in Pre-Qualifying.
Winward Racing once again led the Gold Cup order with its #57 Mercedes-AMG thanks to a 1m47.165s from Indy Dontje (P8 overall). Bronze Cup honours belonged to the #888 CSA Racing Audi driven by Igor Walilko (P12 overall), while Car Collection Motorsport remained on top in Pro-Am courtesy of an impressive showing by Ivan Jacoma (P29 overall).
The session saw two red flags, which came in quick succession during the second half of proceedings. Valentino Rossi was the first to hit problems, losing control of the #46 Team WRT BMW and spinning into the barriers at Parabolica. The Italian was unhurt, but the session had to be stopped for 15 minutes while the #46 machine was removed and the barriers put back in place.
The session resumed with 35 minutes left on the clock, but green flag conditions didn't last long as the #62 Team Parker Racing Porsche found itself beached between the Lesmo curves. On this occasion the clean up was quicker and the green flag flew once again with 25 minutes to run.
Pre-Qualifying also saw a full-course yellow and safety car period. This was a pre-planned systems check ahead of tomorrow's race, with a new wave-by procedure having been instituted for this season's Endurance Cup.
Cars will be back on-track tomorrow morning at 09:00 CEST for Qualifying. The format remains the same for 2023, with the aggregate time from three quick-fire sessions setting the grid for the afternoon's season-opening race at 15:00. Before that, the Fanatec Esports GT Pro Series will kick off its 2023 season with a one-hour Assetto Corsa Competizione race at 18:00.