The first day of free practice at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza finished with mixed fortunes, in spite of some highly competitive times registered by the 488 GT3 Evo 2020s from Maranello.
First session. At the end of the first ninety-minute session dedicated to setting up the cars, the #71 Iron Lynx-run 488 GT3 Evo 2020 proved to be the fastest, with Antonio Fuoco recording a 1’46”674 lap-time early in the session. Racing for the second time in the series after last year’s outing at Paul Ricard, the lap-time confirms just how well the Italian driver has bonded with both the car and the circuit, on which he had earned the Endurance Cup championship laurels last year in the Italian GT Championship. Car #51, further behind with a time of 1’47”577, saw Alessandro Pier Guidi and team-mates struggle to find the right grip over various stretches of the track. Fifth time in Pro-Am class went to Sky Tempesta Racing, with Chris Froggatt, Eddie Cheever, and Stefan Görig replacing Jonathan Hui, while Andrea Bertolini, Louis Machiels and Lorenzo Bontempelli finished in sixth position. Thirteenth quickest time went to the Kessel Racing-run Ferrari, while in the Silver Cup, Hites and Kujala concluded the session in eleventh.
Pre-qualification. The second and last unofficial testing session – red-flagged some thirteen minutes from the end – saw a dip in performance for the Maranello machinery competing in Pro class, with fourteenth position going to the #71 and the twenty-eighth spot for the #51. The team, focused on finding more grip, were still far below their peak as the 1'48”449 and 1'48”717 lap times showed. The fastest of the Ferrari crews turned out to be the 488 GT3 Evo 2020 belonging to Sky Tempesta Racing, fourth overall and second in the Pro-Am class. Seventh and ninth best class times went to the AF Corse and Kessel Racing entrants, while the Rinaldi Racing-run Ferrari finished in thirteenth position in Silver class.
Schedule. The first round of the Esport GT Pro series gets underway this evening at 19:00, while tomorrow morning’s session, starting at 09:00, will determine the starting grid for the three-hour race set to begin at 15:00.