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Mercedes-AMG one-two at Monza as Akkodis ASP leads free practice

22 April 2023

Akkodis ASP led a Mercedes-AMG one-two in free practice at Monza as the full Fanatec GT Europe field hit the track for the first time in 2023. 

The French squad was on top for the majority of the session with its #88 machine thanks to a 1m46.187s from Jules Gounon. The #777 Mercedes-AMG Team AlManar entry was 0.075s shy in second spot thanks to Fabian Schiller, completing a perfect start for the German marque. 

Tresor Orange1 was third with its #40 Audi which ran a 1m46.585s with Mattia Drudi. Next was the #57 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG, driven by Phillip Ellis, which topped the Gold Cup classification courtesy of a 1m46.633s. 

Tresor Attempto Racing led the Bronze Cup, placing seventh overall with Dylan Pereira in its #66 Audi. The same team led the Silver Cup thanks to P8 overall for the #99 of Alex Aka. The #55 Dinamic Huber Racing Porsche was the only car in the top-10 not representing either Audi or Mercedes-AMG, while the #188 Garage 59 McLaren was the best non-German marque in 15th. 

In contrast, the BMW contingent kept a fairly low profile during the session. The best of the M4 runners was the #32 Team WRT entry of Vanthoor/Weerts/Van Der Linde in 19th spot overall, one place ahead of the #98 Rowe Racing machine. The same was true of Ferrari with its new 296 GT3. The best of AF Corse's Pro entries was 37th overall, two spots behind the previous generation 488 model. 

The session was stopped shortly before the hour mark when the #62 Team Parker Racing Porsche spun into the gravel. The car was undamaged but required the help of a service vehicle to get back on-track, resulting in a brief red flag. There was no other major drama, though two Lamborghinis – the #63 from Iron Lynx and the #85 from Grasser Racing – came to a halt at the very end of the 90 minutes. 

The contenders will be back on-track at 13:40 for Pre-Qualifying, which provides another 90 minutes of running for the 55-car field.   

> Free Practice Result