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ISR Audi Tops First Practice at Monza; Strakka McLaren Crashes

ISR Audi fastest in FP1 at Monza, as Strakka McLaren crashes…

Photo: Georges De Coster

Photo: Georges De Coster

Clemens Schmid put the No. 75 ISR Audi R8 LMS on top in Free Practice for the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup opener at Monza, as Nick Leventis suffered a big impact in the No. 42 Strakka Racing McLaren 650S GT3.

Schmid reeled off a 1:47.858 lap time early in the 90-minute session, 0.317s quicker than the No. 26 Sainteloc Racing Audi R8 LMS of Christopher Haase, which lead the Pro-Am class.

The No. 63 Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracán GT3, No. 5 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi and No. 53 Spirit Of Race Ferrari 488 GT3 completed the top five.

No fewer than 27 cars — more than half the field — were within one second of Schmid’s time.

The session was interrupted for 15 minutes following Leventis’ big off at the exit of Ascari. The Brit walked away unscathed from the incident.

While the extent of the damage is still being assessed, there is a chance the chassis has been compromised and it might have to be repaired or replaced.

Strakka Racing brought a fifth McLaren to Monza for BoP purposes, which could be used as a replacement car.

Craig Fleming already crashed the same car during the Bronze Test yesterday evening.

Rino Mastronardi went quickest in that Bronze Test. The Italian put in a 1:48.740 lap time in the No. 488 Rinaldi Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 and was 0.604s faster than the Oman Racing Team Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 of Ahmad Al Harty.

The No. 87 AKKA ASP Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Jean-Luc Beaubelique, HB Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 of Bernard Delhez and Oman Aston Martin of Al Harty also ended up next to the track yesterday evening.

The Pre-Qualifying gets underway at 4:05 p.m. local time, followed by qualifying tomorrow morning.

RESULTS: Free Practice 

Vincent Wouters (@VinceWouters) is a Belgium-based sports car racing reporter, providing coverage primarily of the Blancpain GT Series.

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