Marciello fastest on drying track in Free Practice
Raffaele Marciello put the #88 Akkodis ASP Mercedes-AMG on top in this afternoon's a delayed Free Practice at Valencia.
Originally scheduled for a 11:20 start, the 80-minute session eventually got going at 12:05 due to heavy rainfall earlier in the day. By the time the cars hit the track the rain had long since stopped and the sun was beginning to emerge, ensuring that times fell consistently.
Marciello went purple in all three sectors on his way to a best time of 1m31.359s. This was very nearly a second faster than Mattia Drudi (#40 Tresor Orange1 Audi), with Konsta Lappalainen (#14 Emil Frey Racing Ferrari) and Dean MacDonald (#111 JP Motorsport McLaren) completing a varied top-four.
The fifth-placed #99 Tresor Attempto Racing Audi led the Silver Cup order thanks to Lorenzo Patrese. The Italian youngster was immediately followed by Henrique Chaves, who paced the Bronze Cup at the wheel of the #188 Garage 59 McLaren.
Niklas Krütten headed the Gold Cup order in the #30 Team WRT BMW. The German led overall during the second half of the session, but the rate of change at the top was such that he was shuffled back to 19th overall.
Amended timetable for Friday
Due to weather delays during the morning, the timetable for Friday has been amended. Free Practice will now run at 12:05, while Pre-Qualifying is scheduled for 16:35. Both sessions will still run for 80 minutes.
Final entry list for Valencia revealed
The final entry list for this weekend has been released, with a handful of changes from the provisional version.
The #52 AF Corse Ferrari will now see Louis Machiels sharing with son Jef. The youngster takes the place of regular driver Andrea Bertolini.
In the #18 GSM AB1 Lamborghini, James Kell will share with Jarrod Waberski. The former makes his first Sprint appearance having run this year's Endurance schedule in a Walkenhorst Motorsport BMW. The latter is new to the series and makes his debut a week shy of his 18th birthday.
In a further change, the #112 JP Motorsport McLaren has withdrawn from the event. In a press release issued on Thursday morning, the team confirmed that owner/driver Patryk Krupinski is unable to participate due to a knee injury. The sister #111 McLaren is unaffected.
With these changes, a 39-car field will contest this weekend's event, 13 more than in 2022.
> Final Entry List
Magnus puts Comtoyou Racing Audi on top in Valencia test session
The #21 Comtoyou Racing Audi emerged fastest from Thursday morning's official test at Circuit Ricardo Tormo Valencia.
The three-hour session was staged between 09:00 and 12:00 CEST, acting as a prelude to this weekend's Fanatec GT Europe Sprint Cup contest at the Spanish track. Gilles Magnus posted a 1m30.214s aboard the #21 Audi, shading Dennis Marschall (#66 Tresor Attempto Racing Audi) by 0.067s.
The top-four was an Audi lockout, with Fred Vervisch (#12 Comtoyou Racing) and Mattia Drudi (#40 Tresor Orange1) in third and fourth respectively. Christian Engelhart was fifth at the wheel of the #54 Dinamic GT Porsche, followed by more Audi machinery from Saintéloc Junior Team and Comtoyou Racing.
All of the 40 cars entered in this weekend's event participated in the session, which was punctuated by several red flags. Conditions remained dry, with a similar forecast for the race weekend.
Friday will see 80-minute Free Practice and Pre-Qualifying sessions at 11:20 and 16:20 respectively. On both Saturday and Sunday, Qualifying will run at 09:00 with the competitive action getting underway at 14:00.
THURSDAY 14 SEPTEMBER
• 09:00 - 12:00: Paid Test
FRIDAY 15 SEPTEMBER
• 11:20 - 12:40: Free Practice
• 16:20 - 17:40: Pre-Qualifying
SATURDAY 16 SEPTEMBER
• 09:00 - 09:25: Qualifying 1
• 14:00 - 15:00: Race 1
SUNDAY 17 SEPTEMBER
• 09:00 - 09:25: Qualifying 2
• 14:00 - 15:00: Race 2
• Fanatec GT2 European Series (2x 50-minute races)
• Lamborghini Super Trofeo (2x 50-minute races)
• VolRace (track shows & parade)