Mercedes HTP Motorsport and Bernd Schneider on top in free practice.
After a festive parade in the streets of Spa on Wednesday the racing action for the 2014 Total 24 Hours of Spa started on Thursday morning, with the free practice session. 60 of the 61 entered cars immediately took to the track and the Ardennes circuit was very busy all through the session.
It was Marco Bonanomi in the #93 Pro GT by Almeras Porsche who had the honour to be the first driver on track. After the first flurry of quick laps it was Christopher Mies in the #3 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi on top of the rankings, but the lap times came down quickly. Eventually it was Bernd Schneider, one of the drivers on last year’s winning car, who set the quickest time of the session in his #84 HTP Motorsport Mercedes, lapping in 2’22.094. Schneider was closely followed by Jorg Müller in the #66 BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS BMW.
In the Pro-Am Cup, Alessandro Pier Guidi in the #50 AF Corse Ferrari ended up on top. After having led the overall rankings briefly, the Ferrari fell down to 6th overall. The #15 Boutsen Ginion McLaren beat the #35 Nissan GT Academy Team RJN Nissan to second in Pro-Am, with both cars inside the top-10 overall.
Quickest in Gentlemen Trophy was the #49 AF Corse Ferrari, driven by Frenchmen Jean-Marc Bachelier. The session was red flagged twice. First when the #50 AF Corse Ferrari in the hands of Andrew Danyliw went off at turn 13 and seven minutes after the restart for a crash of Alvaro Parente in the #98 ART Grand Prix McLaren in turn 11. Due to heavy barrier damage the session was cut short by 23 minutes.