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GT World Challenge Europe

Gounon Pips Marciello by 0.001s in Zandvoort Pre-Qualifying

Gounon beats Marciello by a whisker as AKKA-ASP leads Zandvoort Pre-Quali…

Photo: Dirk Bogaerts/SRO

AKKA-ASP’s Friday form at Zandvoort continued as Jules Gounon and Raffaele Marciello finished first and second for the French team in Pre-Qualifying practice coming into round two of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Sprint Cup.

Gounon, in the No. 89 Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo that he shares with Petru Umbrarescu, beat his teammate Marciello in the sister No. 88 ASP car by one-thousandth of a second.

Gounon’s best time of 1:35.297 came around 20 minutes into the 80-minute session, just as Marciello was stepping into the No. 88 ASP Mercedes-AMG after a stint from his co-driver Timur Boguslavskiy.

The Italian wasted no time in reeling off a 1:35.298 quick lap but couldn’t find the extra thousandth to beat his fellow Mercedes-AMG factory driver to the top spot.

ASP’s one-two result in Pre-Qualifying practice came after Jim Pla paced Free Practice earlier on Friday in the outfit’s No. 87 Silver Cup-class Mercedes.

Pierre-Alexandre Jean was third-quickest in the No. 107 CMR Bentley Continental GT3, and led the Silver category as a result.

Jean turned in a time of 1:35.382 to come up just 0.084 seconds short of Gounon’s best, while Madpanda Motorsport Mercedes-AMG driver and fellow Silver Cup competitor Ezequiel Companc came through a further three-tenths back in fourth overall.

Christopher Haase was fifth in the No. 25 Sainteloc Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo, ahead of Toksport WRT Mercedes driver Maro Engel and Dries Vanthoor in the championship-leading No. 32 Team WRT Audi.

Free Practice pace-setter Pla was eighth in Pre-Qualifying on a 1:36.036.

Jonny Adam was the fastest driver in Pro-Am courtesy of his 1:36.664 in the No. 188 Garage 59 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 that he shares with Alexander West.

RESULTS: Pre-Qualifying

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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