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Kessel Racing on Top in Free Practice at Monza

Kessel Racing tops opening 90-minute practice session at Monza…

Photo: Vincent Wouters

Photo: Vincent Wouters

Kessel Racing’s Pro-Am Cup Ferrari topped the opening 90-minute practice session for the Blancpain Endurance Series opener at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza.

Giacomo Petrobelli, co-driving with Michael Broniszewski and Allessandro Bonacini, posted the fastest lap of the session in the No. 10 Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 at 1:48.044, thereby bettering last year’s pole time of Alessandro Pier Guidi, also in a Ferrari,  by more than two tenths.

The No. 26 Audi R8 LMS ultra, driven by Stéphane Ortelli, Edward Sandström and Gregory Guilvert, led the session early on but ended up second, 0.297s down on the Kessel Ferrari. The No. 333 GT Corse by Rinaldi Ferrari completed the top three, narrowly preceding the Pro GT by Almeras Porsche No. 93 in the hands of Franck Perera by 0.015s.

The first of both M-Sport run Bentley Continental GT3s got in the top five, with Guy Smith putting in a 1:48.618, half a second of the pace, while sister car No. 8 only managed P24.

Audi seems to handle the Monza track very well with its new BoP, with both Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Pro Cup R8s in the second half of the top ten, preceding the No. 35 GT Academy Team RJN Nissan GT-R.

Thirty eight cars recorded times, with the No. 12 TDS Racing BMW Z4 GT3 and Emil Frey Racing Jaguar the only ones to not run in the morning session due to technical problems.

The Pre Qualifying Practice session will run later today from 12:10 to 1:40 p.m. local time, which will be the last session before qualifying at the end of the day.


Vincent Wouters (@VinceWouters) is a Belgium-based sports car racing reporter, providing coverage primarily of the Blancpain GT Series.

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