Buriram FP1: Picariello and Merlin help Craft-Bamboo top both classes

Buriram FP1: Picariello and Merlin help Craft-Bamboo top both classes

> Result: FP1

Craft-Bamboo Racing’s Mercedes-AMGs topped both the GT3 and GT4 times in opening practice at Buriram earlier today.

Thailand’s usual hot and humid conditions prevailed throughout a 45-minute session that featured several front-runners. But it was Sepang’s winner, Alessio Picariello, who ultimately prevailed courtesy of his 1m34.798s.

That was 0.3s faster than Martin Rump who moved his Absolute Racing Audi to the top just as the session ticked past its halfway mark, as well as another tenth clear of Indigo Racing’s Manuel Metzger.

JRM were Porsche’s leading contender in fourth after lapping half-a-tenth shy of the Mercedes-AMG and a similar margin quicker than David Cheng’s TSRT Audi. Philippe Descombes’ remarkable time helped OpenRoad Racing’s Am/Am crew complete the top-six.

VSR’s Lamborghini and Panther/AAS Motorsport’s Porsche were separated by just 0.005s in seventh and eighth.

Further back, Jean-Marc Merlin ensured Craft-Bamboo claimed the bragging rights in both classes by pacing GT4. The 2017 champion’s 1m46.129s lap was four tenths faster than Team iRace.Win’s similar Mercedes-AMG shared by Ringo Chong and Setiawan Santoso, and another 0.2s faster than BMW Team Studie’s M4.

The day’s second session is scheduled to begin at 15:15 local time, although heavy rain has already delayed several of the support series due to practice beforehand.