Mercedes starts off on the right foot in the first Free Practice of the GT World Challenge Europe, taking the scene at Paul Ricard for the 1000 km, the second stage of the 2023 Endurance Cup.
Here at Le Castellet the weather is uncertain and the heavy downpour that hit the track around 13.00 then turned into light rain just before the green light for the 90′ session which started at 14.35, finally leaving room for a beautiful hot sun that quickly dried the track together with the typical wind that blows in this part of France.
Starting with grooved tyres, the cars gradually lowered their times from the 2’08” at the start of the activity to the 1’54″965 set by the AMG #777 of AlManar Racing, followed just 0″017 by the #88 of Akkodis -ASP.
On the virtual podium there is also the Porsche #96 of Rutronik Racing with 0″3 delay, while the Tresor Orange 1 team is the fastest of the Audi Sports thanks to the fourth fastest time of the R8 LMS #40.
The Porsche #911 of Pure Rxcing also concludes in the Top5, which stands out in the Bronze Cup Class, ahead of the Audi #25 of Saintéloc and the Mercedes #87 of Akkodis-ASP, which arrived yesterday evening after being rebuilt following the Spa test crash.
In the Gold Cup the best is the Optimum Motorsport McLaren #5, which is eighth overall; in the Top10 we also have the Mercedes #79 of HRT – second Bronze – and #57 of Winward Racing, in the gold place of honor.
Scroll to 14th to find the first of the Ferrari 296s of AF Corse-Francorchamps Motors (#51), far behind the Lamborghinis of Iron Lynx and K-Pax Racing.
At BMW the 19th time comes for the #998 Rowe Racing M4, followed by the #32 of Team WRT. The #46 that Valentino Rossi shares with Maxime Martin and Augusto Farfus is 22nd thanks to the time set by the Belgian.
In the PRO-AM Class, the primacy goes to the Porsche #22 of CLRT in 1’55″751, keeping behind the Lamborghini #78 of Barwell Motorsport and the Ferrari 488 #38 of ST Racing-Rinaldi.
In the Silver Cup, Lamborghini scored one-two with the GRT Huracans #58 and #85 beating the Audis of Comtoyou and Tresor-Attempto.
The Pre-Qualifications are scheduled at 19.40, always lasting 90′.
GTWC EUROPE – Endurance Cup: 1000km del Paul Ricard, Classifica Prove Libere