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GT World Challenge Europe

AKKA-ASP Leads Opening Day of Testing at Paul Ricard

No. 88 Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo on the pace during first day of official pre-season test…

Photo: Dirk Bogaerts/SRO

AKKA-ASP’s No. 88 Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo led the opening day of official testing at Paul Ricard for the new Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS season.

The Pro-class car led the way with a time of 1:52.709 that was posted during the four-hour morning session.

Driver identifications were not in use on Monday, although Mercedes-AMG factory drivers Raffaele Marciello, Jules Gounon and Daniel Juncadella were all turning laps for AKKA-ASP.

Konstantin Tereschenko also drove for the French team after traveling to France from Russia last week, while fellow Russian driver Timur Boguslavskiy did not get behind the wheel but could test tomorrow.

The first session was led by the No. 2 GetSpeed Performance Mercedes-AMG, however its time of 1:52.761 was eclipsed by AKKA-ASP during the afternoon.

GetSpeed still ended up second-quickest outright and was also the second-fastest team in the second session behind ASP.

The No. 111 JP Motorsport McLaren 720S GT3 ranked third-fastest courtesy of a 1:53.057 marker set after lunch, while the No. 12 Tresor by Car Collection Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II was fourth in the leaderboard.

A total of 41 cars took part in the first day of testing, with a mixture of new and returning teams taking to the track in advance of the 2022 GTWC Europe campaign.

JOTA, which has yet to announce its GT3 plans for 2022, was present with its solo McLaren alongside fellow customers of the British marque Inception Racing and JP Motorsport, although Garage 59’s two-car McLaren 720S GT3 operation was absent.

Beechdean AMR fielded an Aston Martin Vantage GT3, while ROWE Racing put one of its two BMW M4 GT3s on the track with the three BMW Junior Team members getting stints.

Nine-time Grand Prix motorcycle world champion Valentino Rossi did not take part in Monday’s running but will get behind the wheel of the No. 46 WRT Audi tomorrow.

The car that Rossi is sharing with Nico Mueller and Frederic Vervisch in the Endurance Cup, and Vervisch in Sprint, remained static on day one of the test as WRT unveiled its livery in the pit lane.

Sainteloc Racing, Emil Frey Racing, Dinamic Motorsport and Iron Lynx were among the other participating teams.

There were no Full Course Yellow or safety car periods during either of the Monday sessions.

Track action continues on Tuesday with the same menu of two tests split between the morning and afternoon. The first session starts at 9 a.m. CET (3 a.m. ET) and the second begins at 2 p.m. (8 a.m. ET).

RESULTS: Session 1 / Session 2

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

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