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GT World Challenge Europe

Marciello’s Mercedes Paces Valencia Free Practice

No. 88 AKKA-ASP Mercedes on early form at Valencia as Marciello paces Free Practice…

Photo: Patrick Hecq/SRO

AKKA-ASP driver Raffaele Marciello beat Team WRT’s Charles Weerts to the top spot in Free Practice for this weekend’s Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Sprint Cup round at Valencia.

Marciello produced a best lap time of 1:32.256 to lead the 80-minute session, the first half of which was reserved for Bronze and Silver-rated drivers.

The Italian, who shares the No. 88 Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo with Timur Boguslavskiy, edged 0.125 seconds ahead of series champion Weerts in the No. 32 Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo.

Marciello’s Free Practice showing built on his fastest lap during Friday’s four hours of paid testing at Circuit Ricardo Tormo.

The No. 88 pairing are still searching for their first win of the season after a loose front-right wheel on the final lap dashed their victory last time out at Brands Hatch. 

Silver Cup driver Rik Breukers took third in the Madpanda Motorsport Mercedes-AMG, one-thousandth of a second behind Weerts.

Ricardo Feller was fourth in the Silver Cup points-leading No. 14 Emil Frey Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo, ahead of fellow Silver competitor Oscar Tunjo aboard Toksport WRT’s No. 6 Mercedes-AMG.

Notable contenders near the bottom of the 27-car order included the No. 163 Emil Frey Lamborghini of Albert Costa and Norbert Siedler which finished 22nd, and the Pro-class Toksport WRT Mercedes driven by Maro Engel and Luca Stolz which was 24th.

No major incidents occurred during Free Practice, which feeds into Pre-Qualifying starting at 11:45 a.m. local time (5:45 a.m. EST).

RESULTS: Free Practice

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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