Maro Engel put Mercedes-AMG Team AlManar on top in Free Practice at Circuit Paul Ricard, capping a fine session for the German manufacturer.
Engel left it late, nipping ahead of the #88 Akkodis ASP Mercedes-AMG during the final minutes of the 90-minute session. His best effort – a 1m54.965s – was 0.017s faster than Raffaele Marciello in the rival AMG GT3. Both squads are especially keen for a result this weekend, having missed out on points in the season-openering trip to Monza.
Rutronik Racing ended Free Practice third overall thanks to a 1m55.319s from series newcomer Laurin Heinrich in the #96 Porsche, followed by the #40 Tresor Orange1 Audi of Mattia Drudi. Fifth overall, and top of the Bronze Cup class, was Klaus Bachler in the #911 Pure Rxcing Porsche. Gold Cup honours went to the #8 Optimum Motorsport McLaren courtesy of Dean MacDonald, whose 1m55.607s was good enough for eighth overall.
Dorian Boccolacci was an impressive P13 overall and led the Pro-Am class in the #22 CLRT Porsche. This weekend represents the maiden appearance for the #22 crew, while Boccolacci is back in Fanatec GT Europe action for the first time since 2020. Finally, Grasser Racing led the Silver standings in P18 thanks to Fabrizio Crestani in the #58 Lamborghini.
Cars will be back on-track for Pre-Qualifying at 19:50 CEST. All of the weekend's competitive action takes place tomorrow, with Qualifying at 11:00 and the six-hour contest at 18:00. Both will be streamed live and in full on the Fantaec GT Europe Facebook page and on the GT World YouTube channel.