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SPS Leads Mercedes 1-2-3-4 in Barcelona Free Practice

Dominik Baumann tops Endurance Cup practice session as Mercedes-AMGs lead the way…

Photo: Dirk Bogaerts/SRO

Dominik Baumann set the fastest lap of Free Practice for the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Endurance Cup season finale at Barcelona as Mercedes-AMG entries placed first, second, third and fourth on Saturday morning.

Baumann put the No. 20 SPS Automotive Performance Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo, which races in the Pro-Am class, at the head of the overall leaderboard with a 1:45.468 effort set 15-minutes into the 90-minute session.

The Austrian driver was backed up by a group of three more Mercedes-AMGs led by the No. 88 AKKA-ASP Pro car piloted by Felipe Fraga.

Baumann beat Fraga’s early benchmark by 0.136 seconds, while Simon Gachet ended up third in the Silver Cup entry from the AKKA-ASP squad.

Marvin Dienst slotted into fourth aboard the Toksport AMG, which is also racing in the Silver category.

The top non-Mercedes was Emil Frey Racing’s No. 114 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo, just under seven-tenths off the pace set by Baumann.

Jack Aitken, who is returning to action after a ten-week absence due to injury, initially put the Emil Frey car eighth with a 1:46.425 before his co-driver Arthur Rougier shaved that number down to a 1:46.362.

Rougier slotted ahead of Giacomo Altoe in the sister No. 163 Pro-class Emil Frey Lamborghini, while Dinamic Motorsport’s No. 54 Porsche 911 GT3 R was seventh.

The points-leading N0. 51 Iron Lynx Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 ranked 30th in the 46-car field, one place behind the guesting BMW M4 GT3 which is running as an Invitational entry. Audi’s 2022-spec R8 LMS GT3 Evo model posted the 20th-best time.

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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