- Lamborghini strike late to start Misano weekend on the front foot.
- Casadei’s final flying effort denies #16 KTM in a truncated first session.
- Friday action continues with FP2 (15:50) and Qualifying (20:25 CET).
Mauro Casadei and Cedric Leimer set the benchmark time in a twice-interrupted opening Fanatec GT2 European Series practice session of the weekend (2-3 July) at Misano.
The #63 Lamborghini Huracan GT2 – new to the series at this event – set the fastest time with just over five minutes left on the clock, Casadei clocking a 1:38.096 to depose erstwhile leaders Sehdi Sarmini and Stefan Rosina in the #16 True Racing KTM by half a second.
Rosina’s 1:38.606, set on the Slovakian’s first run around the fast, flowing 4.2km Italian circuit, looked to be on course for top spot despite a pair of red flag stoppages as drivers adjusted to the demands of the fast, flowing 4.2km Misano circuit.
The first came after an off in the final sector for Klaus Angerhofer in the #17 True Racing KTM, and the other after Einar Thorsen and Peter Kox’s #23 stopped on track at Turn 7. When the session resumed, Casadei’s late intervention proved enough to give Lamborghini the perfect start on home soil.
Just a further 0.075 seconds adrift of Sarmini and Rosina was Peter Guelinckx and Bert Longin’s #81 PK Carsport Audi, the pair looking to get back to winning ways on the Adriatic coast this weekend in Pro-Am.
Longin did briefly set a new fastest lap before it was removed by officials. They ended the session third-fastest nevertheless, just under two tenths ahead of the LP Racing #88 Audi shared by Stephane Ratel and Luca Pirri.
Speed Factory Racing’s Porsche in the hands of Aurelijus Rusteika and Michael Vergers rounded out the top five, barely a tenth clear of current Pro-Am championship leaders Mark Patterson and Anders Fjordbach (#33 Audi) in sixth.
A quartet of KTM challengers completed the runners, led in seventh by Kris Rosenberger and Hans-Joachim Stuck in the #24 Reiter Engineering entry.
They ended the opening session a half-second faster than Am points leader Christoph Ulrich, the Swiss eighth after a spin at Turn 14 in the #7 Sportec KTM he shares with Adrian Spescha this weekend.
Angerhofer was ninth, but with considerably less running after that off, the field completed by Thorsen and Kox’s #23 KTM.
Friday’s action continues with Free Practice 2 at 15:50 ahead of Qualifying at 20:25 (both CEST).