Fuji FP3: Marciello leads GruppeM Mercedes-AMG one-two; Team Studie again top GT4

Fuji FP3: Marciello leads GruppeM Mercedes-AMG one-two; Team Studie again top GT4

Result: FP3

GruppeM’s Mercedes-AMGs finished one-two in Blancpain GT Series Asia’s final practice session at Fuji this morning, while BMW Team Studie were again fastest of the GT4 runners.

After finishing third in both of yesterday’s sessions, Raffaele Marciello vaulted to the top ahead of qualifying thanks to a 1m36.418s. That was 1.8s faster than Friday’s benchmark and also 0.347s quicker than the sister car could manage in the hands of Nico Bastian and Patrick Niederhauser.

Marco Mapelli’s FFF Racing Team Lamborghini was just 0.002s behind, while Naoki Yokomizo again shone aboard CarGuy Racing’s Ferrari 458, which beat all of the newer 488 GT3 models en route to fourth.

Championship leaders Martin Kodric and Dennis Lind missed most of yesterday’s second session after tangling with a GT4 car but rebounded to claim the fifth fastest time this morning in the second of FFF Racing’s Huracans. They were 1.1s down on Marciello’s time and less than a tenth faster than Kota Sasaki’s ARN Racing Ferrari, which again performed strongly on home soil.

Darryl O’Young and Aidan Reed were best of the Porsche drivers in seventh, while yesterday’s FP1 pace-setting KCMG Nissan rounded out the top-eight. Absolute Racing’s #3 Audi and HubAuto Corsa’s #28 Ferrari completed the first five rows.

In GT4, BMW Team Studie’s Takayuki Kinoshita and Sunako Jukuchou maintained their 100% record this weekend by again topping the class. Their 1m46.414s was also significantly quicker than they managed yesterday as well as a staggering 1.5s faster than Team iRace.Win’s Mercedes-AMG, which again finished best of the rest.

Team Studie’s second BMW M4 completed the top-three ahead of GruppeM’s Mercedes-AMG.

Qualifying for both of this weekend’s races takes place at 11:25 this morning. Watch it live on the championship’s website and Facebook page.