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GT World Challenge Europe

Marciello Leads Free Practice at Magny-Cours

Swiss ace leads Audi-dominated top five as running starts at Magny Cours…

Photo: SRO/Dirk Bogaerts

Raffaele Marciello set the fastest time in Free Practice for the second round of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Sprint Cup at Magny-Cours, leading a top-five largely filled by Audi runners.

Marciello set a best lap of 1:36.345 behind the wheel of the No. 89 Akkodis ASP Team Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo to lead the way at the French circuit.

The Swiss ace took over the car from co-driver Timur Boguslavskiy, who was already at the head of the field during the first segment of the session, which was for Silver and Bronze-rated drivers only.

Marciello then quickly posted an improvement over his teammate’s time, before a second and final improvement to end the session.

The Mercedes led a top five that was largely made up of Audi runners, with second, third and fourth all occupied by the Ingolstadt marque.

Christopher Haase was second with a best lap of 1:36.642 behind the wheel of the No. 11 Tresor by Car Collection Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II.

The German was 0.297 seconds down on Marciello but just 0.046 seconds ahead of Patric Niederhauser’s No. 25 Sainteloc Audi.

Team WRT’s No. 32 car was fourth, with Akkodis ASP’s Silver-class No. 87 Mercedes rounding out the top five with Thomas Drouet at the wheel.

Dinamic Motorsport’s No.54 Porsche 911 GT3 R was sixth, ahead of the No. 90 Akkodis ASP Mercedes in seventh position.

The top-ten was rounded out by the No. 30 and No. 46 Team WRT Audis ahead of the No.26 Sainteloc Audi.

The session was red-flagged twice. The first stoppage came after just ten minutes thanks to a stoppage for at turn 13 WRT’s No. 30 Audi and the No.99 Attempto Racing entry for Alex Aka and Nicolas Schoell.

A second interruption followed mere minutes prior to the end of the session, caused by Garage 59’s No. 188 McLaren 720S GT3.

Cars will return to the track for a pre-qualifying session at 6:35 p.m. local time.

RESULTS: Free Practice

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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