Saelens & Longin fastest in first free practice in France, newcomer Vannelet impresses in Am

Saelens & Longin fastest in first free practice in France, newcomer Vannelet impresses in Am

Stienes Longin and Nicolas Saelens kicked off the Fanatec GT2 European Series season finale on a strong note this morning, clocking in fastest of the first official free practice sessions at Circuit Paul Ricard.

The #11 PK Carsport Audi took over at the top of the timing screens around 14 minutes into the session, just ahead the first of two brief red flag stoppages, and remained unchallenged to the flag.

Saelens and Longin lead the Pro-Am title fight by just five points heading into this final double header race weekend. Their main title rivals, the True Racing by Reiter Engineering KTM X-BOW of Stefan Rosina and Filip Sladecka logged fourth fastest.

Reiter Engineering’s new entry, Gilles Vannelet impressed on his debut session by clocking in the fastest of the Am drivers and second overall in the #24 KTM X-BOW.

Bert Longin and Peter Guelinckx in the sister #81 PK Carsport Audi finished third, after Longin Sr was the first to set the benchmark time in the 60-minute session.   

LP Racing Team Principal, Luca Pirri and SRO Motorsports Group Founder & CEO Stéphane Ratel also had a strong first outing of the weekend with fifth overall. Kevin Weeda and Anders Fjordbach completed the top six in the Brabham BT63 GT2 Concept, after a brief excursion resulted in the first red flag.

Leonardo Gorini notched up the second fastest Am time, ahead of class champion elect Henry Hassid and son Maxime, who joins the field for the first time this weekend.

Ebimotors’ Gianluca Giorgi, who makes a welcome return to the GT2 fold after missing the last encounter in Spain, finished ninth fastest, with Klaus Angerhofer and Hubert Trunkenpolz completing the top 10.

The second free practice is scheduled to take place at 14:20, ahead of qualifying at 18:40.