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GT World Challenge Europe

Marciello Leads Audi-Dominated Top Ten in Pre-Qualifying

Akkodis ASP driver goes quickest ahead of top ten largely filled by Audi squads…

Photo: SRO/Dirk Bogaerts

Akkodis ASP Team set the pace in pre-qualifying for the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Sprint Cup at Magny-Cours, with the Mercedes-AMG squad leading a top ten dominated by rival manufacturer Audi.

Raffaele Marciello posted the quickest time of the early evening session behind the wheel of the No. 89 Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo, posting a 1:36.139.

That was enough to put the French squad up top in a session where seven cars in the top ten came from Audi, with second down to seventh occupied by drivers in machinery from the Ingolstadt manufacturer.

Dries Vanthoor put in a late flyer aboard the No. 32 Team WRT Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II to go quickest overall, with the Belgian’s effort of 1:36.252 just over a tenth down on Marciello.

Vanthoor led the sister No. 33 Audi driven by Christopher Mies, who in turn was ahead of the No. 12 Tresor by Car Collection entry of Mattia Drudi, with the Belgian having bumped his fellow factory driver down a spot late in the session.

Gilles Magnus was fifth fastest and the quickest Silver-class driver for the Sainteloc Junior Team, with WRT’s Fred Vervisch sixth ahead of Patric Niederhauser.

Casper Stevenson’s No. 87 Akkodis ASP Team Mercedes was eighth ahead of the second Tresor by Car Collection Audi driven by Christopher Haase.

Ulysse de Pauw completed the top ten in the No. 53 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020, ahead of the No. 54 Dinamic Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 R of Christian Engelhart.

Friday evening’s session was interrupted by a lengthy red flag of some 25 minutes, caused by Ollie Wilkinson.

Wilkinson hit the tyre barrier at T17 behind the wheel of the No. 38 JOTA McLaren 720S GT3, causing the session to be halted. 

Qualifying for the first race of the weekend takes place Saturday afternoon at 3:05 p.m. local time.

RESULTS: Pre-Qualifying

Davey Euwema is a Sportscar365 reporter based in The Netherlands, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, DTM, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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