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Marciello Tops Red Flag-Affected Imola Free Practice

2018 GTWC Europe champion Raffaele Marciello sets the pace in practice for 3H Imola…

Photo: Patrick Hecq/SRO

AKKA-ASP Mercedes driver Raffaele Marciello set the fastest lap in Free Practice for tomorrow’s 3 Hours of Imola as three red flags interrupted the flow of the session.

Marciello posted a time of 1:41.655 aboard the No. 88 Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo that the Italian will share with Felipe Fraga and Timur Boguslavskiy in the GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Endurance Cup season-opener.

Second-quickest was K-PAX Racing’s Jules Gounon in the No. 3 Bentley Continental GT3, 0.141 seconds shy of the lead effort, while Jim Pla came through in third for AKKA-ASP’s Pro-Am class crew.

Porsche driver Patrick Pilet finished fourth for GPX Racing on a 1:42.114, as Christopher Haase completed the top five in the No. 25 Sainteloc Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo.

The 90-minute practice session ran without major incident for roughly 40 minutes until proceedings were stopped for 18 minutes after an advertising board fell from the gantry.

Shortly after the restart, the session was brought to a halt again when Mercedes driver Florian Scholze tipped Ollie Wilkinson’s McLaren 720S GT3 into a spin at Rivazza.

The third red flag brought the session to a close after 17 minutes of green flag running out of the previous incident.

Romano Ricci and Lucas Mauron collided at Tamburello, sending the latter driver’s Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo into the gravel.

 

Next up for the Endurance Cup field is a 90-minute pre-qualifying session starting at 1:10 p.m. CEST (7:10 a.m. EST).

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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