The German Reiter Engineering run team ended the first day of the FIA GT1 World Championship round at Paul Ricard on top, their Lamborghini Murcielago R-SVs finishing one-two in the pre-qualifying session.
The pair of Brazilians Ricardo Zonta and Rafael Daniel set the fastest time of the session, returning to the series for the first time since the opening round at Abu Dhabi, former BAR driver lapping the high speed French track in 2:04.922. Zonta's time put them ahead of Dutchman Peter Kox who turned the fastest lap in the sister no.24 car.
“The session went well today and the team are doing a great job and our other drivers have improved their pace,” said Zonta. “Of course the races are very demanding and we have pit stops and driver changes to contend with. We need a good and consistent car for both the Qualifying Race and the Championship Race.”
As their positions as the number one driver in their team, both Kox and Zonta will take responsibility for the first, and potentially, if their pace is repeated by their teammates, final parts of Saturday's knock-out qualifying session.
Earlier in the day Peter Kox and partner Christopher Haase had had to settle for third fastest time, their Reiter stablemates down in eleventh, in the Free Practice session.
That session was led by two of the championship's current form teams – Hexis AMR and Sumo Power GT.
The Aston Martin of the French squad, with Frederic Makowiecki set the fastest time in the 80-minutes session (2:05.565) in the no.9 entry. Jamie Campbell-Walter put the Nissan HT-R second fastest.