Hook tops FP1 at Misano on Blancpain GT Sports Club return, Earle heads Iron Cup runners

Hook tops FP1 at Misano on Blancpain GT Sports Club return, Earle heads Iron Cup runners

Rinaldi Racing’s Christian Hook went quickest in his first session since returning to the Blancpain GT Sports Club, with the Titanium Cup runner holding a sizeable advantage over AF Corse’s Mario Cordoni in Free Practice 1 at the Misano World Circuit.

Hook’s #33 Ferrari 488 GT3 quickly shot to the top of the timings early in the session, as drivers around steadily built up their pace behind. Ultimately though, no one could catch the German, who continued to best his time well past the halfway stage.

Behind, ERC Sport’s Lee Mowle initially went second fastest, but Cordoni put his #51 Ferrari 488 GT3 ahead, which he remained until the end of the session, albeit over a second behind pace-setter Hook.

Mowle was the first of the non-Ferrari runners, ending the session third fastest and second of the Titanium Cup challengers on board his #44 Mercedes AMG GT3. Championship leader Jens Reno Moller put his #11 Honda NSX GT3 Evo fourth fastest in his first Blancpain GT Sports Club session at Misano.

Following the Reno Racing entrant was the first of the Iron Cup runners, Kessel Racing’s Stephen Earle, who continued his strong form this season in fifth overall on board the #111 Ferrari.

Sixth fastest was HP Racing International’s Coach McKansy, who currently lies second in the Titanium Cup, in the #17 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 2019. The German was third in class and ended FP1 just 0.072 seconds ahead of Paul Ricard race-winner Murad Sultanov.

Kessel Racing’s #23 Ferrari driver led fellow Russian Pavel Strukov, who was eighth fastest for local team StileF Squadra Corse.

Ninth and second of the Iron Cup competitors was Kessel Racing’s Rick Peter Lovat. The Canadian has been Earle’s closest rival for much of the 2019 campaign and is also after more overall points this weekend.

Rounding out the top 10 was Team HB Racing’s Dilantha Malagamuwa in the #24 Lamborghini Huracan GT3, with his times continuing to improve throughout the session as he reacclimatised himself with the Italian venue.

AF Corse and Iron Cup pair Louis Philippe Soenen and Howard Blank were 11th and 12th respectively, with the former coming off the back of his first Iron Cup victory since 2015 in Paul Ricard last time out.

Next up is Free Practice 2 at 12:50, which you can follow via live timings on the Blancpain GT Sports Club website, with qualifying and race one streamed live on our website, Facebook and GTWorld YouTube channel later this afternoon.