On board the #11 Reno Racing Honda NSX GT3 Evo, Blancpain GT Sports Club debutant Jens Reno Møller dealt the first blow in free practice at Monza, with his early lap of 1:49.266 comfortably ahead of AF Corse’s Mario Cordoni in the #51 Ferrari 488 GT3.
Reigning Iron Cup champion Stephen Earle put his #111 Kessel Racing Ferrari 488 on top in the class for over 60s, as Rinaldi Racing’s Vadim Kogay ended the session with a narrow advantage over his nearest Titanium Cup competitor.
With no rain in sight after yesterday’s mixed conditions, all 15 drivers were in action for the 40-minute free practice session. The Honda NSX’s pace was immediately evident, as Reno Møller shot to the top of the timings after the first 10 minutes and remained unbeaten until the chequered flag.
Just before the halfway point, AF Corse’s Mario Cordoni became the only other driver to dip below the 1:50 mark, moving his #51 Ferrari 488 GT3 ahead of StileF Service Srl’s Pavel Strukov.
The Russian was quickly on the pace in yesterday’s Bronze Test, and on board the #777 Ferrari he proved that he will be right in the mix this weekend, ending the session third fastest.
Behind was a closely fought Titanium Cup battle, eventually won by Kogay in the #333 Ferrari, who ended the session just two tenths quicker than British GT convert Lee Mowle in the #44 Mercedes AMG GT3. Last year’s runner-up Coach McKansy improved throughout the session on board the #17 HP Racing International Lamborghini Huracan GT3 going sixth overall and third in the Titanium Cup class.
Next came Murad Sultanov, who showed strong pace on board the #23 Kessel Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 with the fourth fastest time early in the session, but dropped to seventh as others improved around.
Stephen Earle was also up to speed quickly on board the #111 Ferrari, going just under a second quicker than Iron Cup newcomer and Kessel team-mate Rick Peter Lovat, who was 10th overall on board the #12 Ferrari.
Splitting them was series debutant Gerard van der Horst, driving the #98 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo, who was also fourth in the Titanium Cup class.
Next will be qualifying, which for this year has been split into to sessions, each determining the grid for races one and two. You can follow the action with live timings at www.blancpainsportsclub.com/live.