Craft-Bamboo Racing’s Porsche set the fastest time of the weekend so far in first official practice on Friday ahead of this weekend’s inaugural Suzuka 10 Hours.
The two-hour session proved just as warm and sunny as the morning’s test. Mathieu Jaminet was the first to really exploit those conditions by recording a 2m03.444s on only his third lap, which would ultimately remain good enough for top spot in the session and a tenth quicker than Nick Foster’s previous benchmark.
GruppeM Racing’s Mercedes-AMG was a front-runner throughout and maintained that run of form by claiming second place. Raffaele Marciello’s late effort saw the Italian finish three tenths behind his French rival and another 0.1s clear of Audi Team Hitotsuyama’s R8 LMS GT3 driven by Alessio Picariello.
HubAuto Corsa’s #27 Ferrari F488 GT3 was fastest of the non-Intercontinental GT Challenge entries in fourth, while Audi Sport Team WRT beat the best of the Pro Am cars, SunEnergy1 Racing’s Mercedes-AMG, to sixth.
Bentley Team M-Sport’s #8 Continental GT3 and Goodsmile Racing’s Mercedes-AMG rounded out the top-eight, while one second once again covered a top-14 that featured eight manufacturers.