Martin Rump led an Audi one-two in today’s free practice sessions at Sepang ahead of tomorrow’s opening round of the inaugural Blancpain GT Series Asia campaign.
A dry afternoon meant the second session’s times were much faster than those from the morning after a downpour struck just before FP1. Raffaele Marciello’s GruppeM Mercedes-AMG GT3 ended opening practice on top, but a dry track clearly favoured Rump’s KCMG-run R8 LMS GT3, which produced a best of 2m03.528s.
The Pro/Am car he shares with Sanghwi Rick Yoon was 0.257s faster than Jeffrey Lee and Will Stevens could muster aboard their Team WRT Asia R8 LMS, and another thousandth faster than Tim Sugden and Jules Szymkowiak’s GruppeM Mercedes-AMG, which was the only Silver Cup entry inside the top-nine.
Morning pace-setters Marciello and Hunter Abbott were next up ahead of Jiang Xin and Massimiliano Wiser’s Spirit of Race Ferrari, while BBT’s similar 488 GT3 driven by Anthony Liu Xu and Davide Rizzo rounded out the top-six, albeit 1.2s shy of Rump’s pace.
Fairuz Fauzy put his Arrows Racing Porsche seventh with Milestone Racing’s Audi of Franky Cheng and Sun Jingzu - which had paced Tuesday and Wednesday’s official tests - eighth.
Martin Kodric and Sandy Stuvik’s VSR Lamborghini came within a whisker of topping the morning’s wet session but had to settle for 10th in FP2 behind Nasrat Muzayyin and Rui Aguas’ Spirit of Race Ferrari.
Elsewhere, the T2 Motorsports Ferrari of Gregory Teo Bee Tat and David Tjiptobiantoro ended up fastest of GT3’s Am/Am pairings, while GT4 honours went the way of Ringo Chong and Alan Yeo’s HubAuto Racing Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR.
Third and final practice takes place at 08:15 tomorrow morning ahead of both qualifying sessions and the weekend’s first hour-long race.
Saturday 8 April
08:15 - 08:45: Official Free Practice
10:40 - 10:55: Qualifying - Race 1
11:05 - 11:20: Qualifying - Race 2
15:10 - 16:15: Race 1 (1 hour plus lead lap)
Sunday 9 April
11:45 - 12:50: Race 2 (1 hour plus lead lap)