AKKA ASP’s Anthony Pons set the pace in the first practice session for this weekend’s Blancpain GT Sports Club opener at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, lapping the Italian venue on a 1:36.072 flyer.
The Frenchman pipped AF Corse’s Christoph Ulrich and his #51 Ferrari 458 Italia for a mere 0.052s in a trouble-free FP1, which took place in perfect sunny conditions at the Italian venue.
Pons and his #72 Mercedes-AMG GT3 were on the move right from the start but the Frenchman was then challenged by the likes of Ulrich and Autovitesse Garage R.Affolter’s Cedric Leimer. The AKKA ASP ace managed to find more pace in the second part of the session to assert his authority on Saturday morning’s timesheets.
Pons’ team-mate Daniele Perfetti confirmed the strong form of the AKKA-run Mercedes-AMG GT3s, as the former British GT champion slotted into third fastest ahead of Team Malucelli’s Marco Galassi and his #60 Ferrari 458 Italia GT3.
Coach McKansy went fifth fastest for HP Racing, with Leimer eventually coming sixth quickest aboard the #963 Lamborghini Huracan GT3.
Seventh was reigning Iron Cup champion Martin Lanting, who was also fastest in class. The Monegasque headed Pierre Hirschi in the CMR-entered #21 BMW Z4 GT3, while Oliver Baumann vaulted himself up to ninth in the DB Motorsport-run #68 Mercedes SLS AMG GT3. Last year’s Blancpain GT Sports Club runner-up Nico Vandierendonck wrapped up the top 10 in the #63 Lamborghini Huracan GT3.
Full FP1 results can be found below:
Track action for the Blancpain GT Sports Club resumes at 12:00, local time, for the second 30-minute free practice.