Audi and Lamborghini got off to a good start at Nogaro, as both brands each were fastest in the pair of the 80-minute Free Practice sessions for the Blancpain Sprint Series.
On Friday, Audi was clearly in a class of its own, as three R8 LMS ultras filled the top three spots.
Reigning champion Laurens Vanthoor completed a lap in 1:26.207 in the No. 1 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi, preceding its No. 2 sister car in the hands of René Rast (+0.331s) and the No. 6 Phoenix Audi driven by Markus Winkelhock (+0.375s).
The No. 28 Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini of Jeroen Bleekemolen was the first non-Audi on Friday in P4, while both HTP Motorsport Mercedes put in a solid performance with the sixth and seventh time.
Alessendro Zanardi ended his first official session in the Sprint Series in 12th, almost two seconds off the pace.
“P12 is not too bad, considering that the others have more experience and probably know the circuit a little bit better,” said Zanardi.
On Saturday morning, the Italian bettered his time by eight-tenths, but dropped further down the order to P17 (+1.730s).
Jeroen Bleekemolen topped the timing screens in the second session, this time ending up in front of the exact top three of FP1.
Nelson Piquet Jr. gave BMW some breathing space and managed to get his No. 21 BMW Sports Trophy Team Brasil Z4 GT3 up into P5, only 0.352s off the pace.
RESULTS: Free Practice 1
RESULTS: Free Practice 2