Lind beats long-time leader Stolz to fastest time in first practice at Fuji

Lind beats long-time leader Stolz to fastest time in first practice at Fuji

> Result: Official Practice 1

Dennis Lind set fastest time during the first official Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia Powered by AWS session at Fuji where bright sunshine and a blue sky replaced Thursday’s largely damp conditions.

The Climax Racing Mercedes-AMG he shares with Zhou Bihuang set a best of 1m39.439s with just under 10 minutes remaining to beat yesterday’s pace setter Luca Stolz by half a tenth.

The German recorded a 1m39.0s in yesterday’s only dry session but couldn’t repeat that en route to second aboard Triple Eight JMR’s Mercedes-AMG. Buriram’s Race 1 winner set two benchmark times on consecutive laps at quarter distance before being overhauled late on by Lind.

The large gap between first and second was in stark contrast to the rest of the top nine, which was covered by a similar margin, while a total of seven manufacturers featured in the first 10 positions. 

D’station’s Aston Martin finished quickest of the Fanatec Japan Cup entries thanks to Tomonobu Fujii who, along with his co-driver Satoshi Hoshino, recently arrived back from Le Mans.

Championship leaders Vutthikorn Inthraphuvasak and Alessio Picarrielo (AAS Motorsport by Absolute Racing) were less than a tenth further back in fourth, while Plus Racing with BMW Team Studie’s Seiji Ara finished just behind the Porsche.

KCMG’s Honda was also in the mix courtesy of Edoardo Liberati who completed the top six, James Yu set the best Audi time in seventh, and Shintaro Kawabata took 5ZIGEN’s Nissan to 10th behind R&B’s #4 Porsche and Craft-Bamboo’s #37 Mercedes-AMG.

However, there was a slower start for reigning overall and Fanatec Japan Cup champions CarGuy Racing whose new Ferrari 296 could only set the 14th fastest time.

Takeshi Kimura and Kei Cozzolino will be hoping for better when Official Practice 2 gets underway at 15:00 JST.