High Class leads rival Audi squad in final Paul Ricard practice

High Class leads rival Audi squad in final Paul Ricard practice
High Class Racing made it a clean sweep of practice performances after leading Pro-Am title rivals PK Carsport by Heinz in the final session before qualifying at Circuit Paul Ricard, France this afternoon (1 October).

Although slightly slower than their morning benchmark, a quickest time of 2:05.700, set once again by Anders Fjordbach in the #33 Audi R8 LMS GT2 he shares with Mark Patterson on his initial run, was enough to claim top spot for the second successive session by 0.9 seconds from the #81 PK Carsport entry of Peter Guelinckx and Bert Longin.

The pair arrive at Le Castellet split by a mere 14 points in the battle for the inaugural honours in Pro-Am, with this session likely to be a pre-cursor to a titanic qualifying battle between both rival Audi squads under the floodlights in the south of France tonight.

Another strong outing for the fledgling Brabham BT63 GT2 concept in the hands of David Brabham and Dennis Andersen culminated in the third-fastest time, the High Class Racing entry making further strides forward to end FP2 just one second shy of Fjordbach's time.

Christoph Ulrich was once again the fastest among the Am Cup runners, the recently-crowned champion in class putting the Sportec Motorsport #7 KTM X-BOW GT2 in fourth, with Stephane Ratel and Luca Pirri rounding out the top five in the LP Racing-run #88 Audi.

Julien Piguet and Cedric Leimer were once again fastest among the Lamborghini runners, the #63 AutoVitesse Huracan sixth fastest on this occasion, with Kris Rosenberger and Hans-Joachim Stuck's #24 Reiter Engineering KTM close behind in seventh.

Huilin Han and Jaromir Jirik put in another solid showing to go eighth fastest overall in the #32 Target Racing-run Lamborghini, with Aurelijus Rusteika and Michael Vergers matching their ninth-place from the opening session in the Speed Factory Racing #5 Porsche 911 GT2 RS.

Sehdi Sarmini, running solo this weekend in the absence of Stefan Rosina, was tenth in the #16 True Racing KTM; all that separated Sarmini from the other #17 True Racing entry (Hubert Trunkenpolz/Klaus Angerhofer) was Cyril Leimer in the second of AutoVitesse's Lamborghinis, the strength in depth amongst the competition this weekend looking set to be exceptionally fierce.

Leonardo Gorini was 13th fastest in LP Racing's #911 Porsche, with Scuderia Ravetto & Ruberti's #333 Ferrari 488 Evo for JM Litmann and Luca Demarchi, plus the #27 Target Lamborghini of Stefan Larsson and Mauro Casadei completing the classified finishers.

After a positive start to the day, Stienes Longin and Jens Liebhauser were unable to complete any further laps in the #11 PK Carsport Audi, but will look to bounce back when qualifying gets underway at 21:00 (CEST) this evening.