Suzuka Official Practice: Picariello too slick on drying track

Suzuka Official Practice: Picariello too slick on drying track

> GTO Racing with TTR’s Lee tops GT4 class
> Result: Official Practice

Craft-Bamboo’s Alessio Picariello finished 4.6s clear of his nearest rival in Official Practice at Suzuka this morning after bolting on a set of slick tyres at the end of a damp but drying 30-miniute session.

Practice ended with the faintest of dry lines appearing following this morning’s heavy rain. But Picariello was the only driver brave enough to try slicks, which helped him set two times fast enough for top-spot. The second – 2m05.554s – was four seconds slower than yesterday’s dry benchmark and a similar margin quicker than Triple Eight’s Shane van Gisbergen, who jumped up the order on his final flying lap.

Mercedes-AMGs completed the top-three places courtesy of Melvin Moh, while Marco Holzer’s Panther/AAS Motorsport Porsche and Andre Heimgartner’s HubAuto Corsa Ferrari rounded out the top-five. Patric Niederhauser helped championship leaders Indigo Racing finish sixth.

ARN Racing had made the early running thanks to yesterday’s pace-setter Yuta Kamimura who topped the times at half-distance before making way for co-driver Hiroaki Nagai. The #8 Porsche therefore finished ninth fastest.

Mercedes-AMG also topped the GT4 times courtesy of GTO Racing with TTR’s Bryan Lee who finished 0.3s clear of Team iRace.Win and Craft-Bamboo. Friday’s pace-setters BMW Team Studie were fourth.

Qualifying begins at 09:40 JST (GMT +9). Watch it live here on the championship website.