> Result: Free Practice 1
Team Parker Racing and Steller Motorsport both enjoyed flying starts to their weekends in Belgium by sharing the fastest times in GT3 and GT4 respectively in the opening free practice session at Spa-Francorchamps.
After enduring a difficult weekend at the track last season, Nick Jones and Scott Malvern started to make amends in the best fashion possible, with Malvern setting the outright pace from the very start of the hour-long session.
Malvern forged an early half-a-second gap over his pursuers by mid-distance and was never really threatened after that in a session that was twice punctuated by red flags for cars winding up in the gravel around the track.
James Cottingham and Lewis Williamson did the best job of trying to reel in the #66 Porsche, putting their 2 Seas Motorsport Mercedes-AMG second in the overall times, albeit still 0.4s down on Malvern’s benchmark.
Graham Davidson and Martin Plowman were third fastest in the Paddock Motorsport McLaren 720S GT3, with Nick Halstead/Jamie Stanley taking fourth in the Fox Motorsport version. Greystone GT’s new McLaren entry of Iain Campbell and Oliver Webb was fifth quickest, despite Campbell suffering one of the trips into the gravel that briefly halted the session. Alex Malykhin and James Dorlin rounded out the top six in the Porsche 911 GT3 R that Redline Racing has switched to for this weekend.
The championship-leading #6 RAM Racing Mercedes-AMG of Ian Loggie/Jules Gounon opted to sit out the session preferring to focus on the day’s later running.
Academy Motorsport looked odds-on to lead the way in GT4, with Matt Cowley and Marco Signoretti’s Ford Mustang leading the times for much of the session, but Sennan Fielding had other ideas and used a strong late run on a quiet track to snatch the fastest time in the Steller Audi he shares with Richard Williams.
Likewise, Seb Hopkins put in a fine late effort to grab third in the Team Parker Racing Porsche 718 Cayman he shares with Jamie Orton, as Moh Ritson/Ashley Marshall were fourth fastest in Paddock’s McLaren 570S GT4.
New entry for this weekend, Kevin Tse and Antares Au made an instant impact by going fastest in Pro-Am in the Herberth Motorsport Cayman, with Tse’s best good enough for fifth overall with Tom Edgar/Jordan Collard’s Toyota Gazoo Racing GR Supra rounding out the top six.
The second free practice session is scheduled to begin at 12:20CEST.