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Winkelhock Puts Sainteloc Audi on Top in Free Practice

Markus Winkelhock leads Blancpain GT Free Practice in Pro-Am Sainteloc Audi…

Photo: Dirk Bogaerts/SRO

Markus Winkelhock and Sainteloc Racing paced the first full-field session ahead of the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup opener at Monza on Saturday morning.

The Audi factory driver posted a best time of 1:47.720 in Sainteloc’s No. 26 Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo which runs in the Pro-Am Cup. 

His time was good enough to beat Grasser Racing Team’s Mirko Bortolotti by 0.150 seconds, while Andrea Bertolini was third quickest in the No. 52 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3.

AKKA ASP’s No. 90 Mercedes-AMG GT3 led the Silver Cup from seventh overall, while Raton Racing by Target was on top in the Am class. 

A number of red flag stoppages interrupted the opening 90-minute session, including minor incidents between the Boutsen Ginion Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo and No. 17 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi, as well as for the GPX Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R.

The most significant incident involved Jack Hawksworth in the sole Strakka Racing Mercedes. He crashed at the exit of Variante Ascari before being able to post a representative lap time.

Pre-Qualifying will get underway at 5:15 p.m. local time for an additional 90 minutes of running.

Rain is scheduled for Sunday morning, which could affect the scheduled qualifying session at 9:40 a.m.

RESULTS: Free Practice

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist. He is a graduate of Politics and International Relations.

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