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Two Red Flags in Pre-Qualifying as Marciello Sets Pace Again

Raffaele Marciello form continues at Brands as two red flags interrupt Pre-Qualifying…

Photo: Patrick Hecq/SRO

Raffaele Marciello’s Brands Hatch weekend form continued as the Akkodis ASP Team driver led a Pre-Qualifying practice session that included two red flag interruptions.

Marciello topped the second 60-minute session of the day with a time of 1:21.889 in the No. 89 Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo, improving on his own Free Practice marker from the morning by one and a half tenths of a second.

The red flags were caused by off-track moments for Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo IIs, including one for Team WRT’s Valentino Rossi.

The motorcycle racing champion ended up in the gravel after spinning his No. 46 Audi at the Stirlings left-hander. An eight-minute stoppage was required to recover the stranded car, leaving just under 10 minutes of green flag running at the end of the session.

Nicolas Schoell caused the first red flag after 16 minutes when he went off at Paddock Hill Bend, his No. 99 Attempto Racing Audi making contact with the tire barriers.

Schoell’s car did not return to the track after the incident, which was followed by 17 and a half minutes of green flag running until Rossi went off the road.

Marciello posted the fastest lap before the first red flag. As was the case in Free Practice, Akkodis ASP Team registered a one-two as Jules Gounon claimed second with a 1:22.104 effort in the No. 88 machine.

But a one-two-three for the French ASP organization was denied by its Silver Cup cars both finishing outside the top 10. The No. 87 car ended up 13th after bouncing back from an early spin for Casper Stevenson at the exit of Hawthorn.

Christopher Haase ranked third overall in the No. 11 Tresor by Car Collection Audi, three-tenths off Marciello’s benchmark.

Dries Vanthoor was fourth in the No. 32 Team WRT Audi, ahead of Sainteloc Racing Audi driver Patric Niederhauser and Pro-Am class leader Ben Barker in Barwell Motorsport’s Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo.

Barker was sixth in the outright classification, one place ahead of Silver Cup pace-setter Pierre Alexandre-Jean aboard AF Corse’s No. 53 Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020.

Back-to-back qualifying sessions to decide the first grids of the 2022 GTWC Europe Sprint Cup season are due to get underway at 3:50 p.m. BST (10:50 a.m. ET).

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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