> Result: Official Practice 1
Matteo Cairoli makes his Fanatec GT Asia debut at Motegi this weekend, and the Porsche factory driver wasted no time asserting his authority by setting the pace in Official Practice 1.
The first of two official practice sessions took place on Friday morning. But as the session got underway Cao Qi and his Phantom Pro Audi almost immediately found the gravel trap, resulting in an early red flag.
OP1 resumed with 45 minutes remaining, but it wasn’t until the final 10 that Cairoli hit the front with a 1m52.666s. That was ultimately three tenths faster than his team-mate Alessio Picariello could manage in the sister 911 that also features championship leader Vutthikorn Inthraphuvasak.
CarGuy Racing has reverted to its Ferrari 488 this weekend and it was that entry driven by resigning champion Kei Cozzolino that completed the top-three one tenth further back. The team raced its new 296 GT3 at Fuji before skipping Suzuka due to Takeshi Kimura’s European Le Mans Series commitments.
Eight tenths covered a top-nine also featuring Audi, Aston Martin and Honda, while the best of the Mercedes-AMGs finished 10th.
YZ Racing with BMW Team Studie set the fastest GT4 lap time.
The day’s second hour-long practice session will start at 15:00 local time. The Bronze session follows immediately after at 16:00.