AKKA ASP and Attempto Racing led today’s practice sessions at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli with Raffaele Marciello showing his speed to top the first session and the #66 Audi of Mattia Drudi making a last gasp lap to take the second session.
The always mighty Marciello posted a time of 1m32.114s around halfway in of the first 80 minute session, showing that the #88 Mercedes will always be a factor. The #31 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT car of Ryuichiro Tomita claimed the second spot on his series debut only missing out on first by 0.238s.
Andrea Bertolini, took third place overall and in doing so also topped the Pro-Am class for AF Corse. The Silver Cup leader was Jim Pla, who set a time just 0.036s off of Bertolini in the #89 AKKA Mercedes. Pla was one of four Silver class cars to have placed in the overall top ten this afternoon as the #15 Tech 1 Racing Lexus, #33 WRT Audi and #26 Sainteloc Racing Audi also ran very well.
Apart from a red flag late on and some penalties for track limits, the first session ran smoothly without any major incident.
In a hotly contested practice two, Drudi headed the time sheets with a 1:32.189 followed by Dries Vanthoor in his sister Audi run by the Belgian Audi Club Team WRT squad. The two drivers eventually finished 0.047s from each other. The session saw the top 18 cars covered by less than a second which shows how competitive this field is this season. The impressive Thomas Neubauer was third quickest in the #15 Tech 1 Racing Lexus making him also the quickest Silver Cup car.
The #25 Sainteloc Racing Audi and the #4 HRT Mercedes-AMG rounded out the top five whereas the #88 AKKA ASP Mercedes-AMG shared by Timur Boguslavskiy and FP1 leader Raffaele Marciello could only manage eighth compared to the earlier session.
The Pro-Am class once again had Andrea Bertolini in the top spot. The Italian ace was 11th overall in the #52 AF Corse Ferrari he shares with Louis Machiels.
The #90 Madpanda Motorsport Mercedes-AMG of Ezequiel Perez Companc caused the only Red flag of the evening session by making contact with the barriers at turn six. The car was fifth overall and fastest in the Silver Cup class when the incident happened. Unfortunately the #2 TokSport WRT Mercedes-AMG has been officially withdrawn from the event following a fire during the afternoon practice session.
At 09.00 (local time) action resumes with an 80-minute pre-qualifying run before the first two qualifying sessions get underway at 13.20. Race one begins at 19.15 in the evening.