Enzo Ide led a Belgian Audi Club Team WRT 1-2-3 at Misano World Circuit as the first round of the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup got underway with Free Practice One.
The 1h20m session was split in half to allow the silver and bronze drivers 40 minutes of exclusive testing on what will be a very busy Misano come Saturday’s qualifying race with 39 cars on track at the same time.
That session saw Jules Szymkowiak go fastest in the #86 HTP Motorsport Mercedes AMG GT3 with a time of 1:49.265 to also finish as the fastest Mercedes.
When the second 40 minutes got underway, there was a rush for the pit exit as the teams got straight down to business at the Italian circuit.
Ide would become the first driver to beat Szymkowiak’s time before both Robin Frijns and Laurens Vanthoor – no longer sharing a car for this year and instead running with new team mates in sister WRT Audi R8 LMSs – bettered the Belgian’s time.
It would appear Dutchman Frijns would see down the clock at the top of the table until Ide took advantage of the rapidly drying track and logged a 1:48.406 to leap Frijns whose best was 1:48.522.
Vanthoor would set a 1:48.725 for third and the Sainteloc Racing Audi of Christoper Haase would claim a top four lock out for the four rings with a 1:48.910. To prove just how strong Audi was on the Adriatic, Frank Stippler would place his R8 sixth for ISR.
Seventh would be Norbert Siedler in the Rinaldi Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 with a time of 1:49.425 to be the first entry outside the 1:48s.
The fastest entry in Pro-Am Cup would also be a Ferrari with Michal Broniszewski in the Kessel Racing car. His 1:49.592 would be enough to put him ninth overall.
Broniszewski would keep the fastest Lamborghini Huracan in tenth. Just scraping into the top ten was Mirko Bortolotti in the Grasser Racing Team car, he set a time of 1:49.720. It was GRT’s second entry of Luca Stolz that would claim top honours in the Silver Cup.
Lower down the entry list, the fastest McLaren was Rob Bell for Garage 59 – his 1:50.095 would place 20th. However, that was still two places ahead of the fastest BMW, raced by Boutsen Ginion Racing.