> RESULT: FP1
Dennis Lind made the most of peak track conditions to put his Barwell Lamborghini top of the GT3 times during the opening free practice session at Spa-Francorchamps, while Scott McKenna shot to the top of the GT4 order aboard Toyota Gazoo Racing UK’s Supra.
With heavy cloud hanging over the circuit as the lights went green for first practice, most teams installed their Pro drivers to make the best of the track conditions before the inevitable arrival of light rain. And Dennis Lind did the best job of all by elevating Barwell’s Lamborghini Huracan he shares with Leo Machitski to top spot early on.
After two installation laps, the Dane set a best of 2m20.317s on his third tour, which would ultimately prove unbeatable as the second half of the session suffered some disruption.
Scott Malvern quickly vaulted to second in the Team Parker Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R he shares with Nick Jones, but his best was still half-a-second shy of Lind’s benchmark.
Sandy Mitchell raised the second Barwell Lamborghini to third, right before pitting for Adam Balon to get the bulk of the mileage.
The session was then halted when Brendon Leitch lost control of the guesting Leipert Motorsport Lamborghini at turn nine and clattered the barriers. That brought out the red flags and, when running resumed, the drizzle arrived.
With the track starting to get slippery toward the end, most played it safe and returned to the garages, leaving Lind atop the order.
Sam and Richard Neary wound up fourth fastest in ABBA’s Mercedes-AMG, with Mia Flewitt and Euan Hankey putting the Team Rocket RJN McLaren fifth, just ahead of Ian Loggie/Yelmer Buurman’s RAM Racing Mercedes-AMG.
Michael Igoe/Phil Keen were eighth fastest for WPI Motorsport, a place behind the stricken Leipert Lamborghini. Spa stand-in Ross Gunn and Andrew Howard were ninth in the Beechdean Aston Martin, with Lewis and Stuart Proctor rounding out the top 10 in the Balfe McLaren.
If GT3 was settled early, GT4 was the reverse, with Scott McKenna shooting to the top of the times mid-session, after the red flag, even if he did so in disguise.
Andrew Gordon-Colebrooke set the early pace in the #9 Century Motorsport BMW M4 he shares with Chris Salkeld, before Matt Cowley snatched top spot back for the Academy Motorsport Ford Mustang crew shortly before the stoppage.
When running resumed, Toyota Gazoo Racing UK installed McKenna, and although a glitch made it seem his team-mate John Ferguson was in the car, there was no disguising McKenna’s pace as he demolished the order, going a full 1.5s faster than the Cowley/Will Moore Mustang to set an unbeatable benchmark.
Darren Turner got close, vaulting the Newbridge Motorsport Aston Martin he shares with Matt Topham to second, but he was still 0.4s down on the Toyota.
Moore/Cowley ended up third fastest, just ahead of Will Burns/Gus Burton in the #57 Century BMW. Gordon-Colebrooke/Salkeld were fifth, with the Steller Motorsport Audi R8 of Richard Williams/Sennan Fielding sixth.
Alain Valente/Michal Benyahia wound up the best of the RJN McLarens in seventh, with Jack Brown/Ashley Marshall rounding out the top eight in their Balfe Motorsport version.
FP2 – which is live on britishgt.com/live – begins at 13:00 CEST.