A good old one-two from Jules Gounon at half-time proved enough to put 2 Seas Motorsport out front in opening practice at Snetterton, handing reigning champion Ian Loggie the ideal start to the weekend.
Likewise, Team Parker Racing showed signed of turning its run of recent bad luck around to set the pace in GT4 thanks to the combined efforts of Dan Vaughan and Zac Meakin.
The start of the session was disrupted by an early red flag needed to clear up a collision between the #24 Greystone GT McLaren GT3 and the #36 DTO McLaren Artura GT4. The early stoppage and 15-minute clean-up meant nobody could get a solid banker lap until pretty much the midway point.
Darren Leung had led the early times aboard the Century Motorsport BMW M4 GT3 he shares with Dan Harper, but when the Pro drivers took over after the restart top spot soon shuffled through a handful of drivers before Gounon set not one, but two times good enough to secure top spot for the #1 Mercedes-AMG.
Marvin Kirchhöfer got closest to Gounon’s benchmark, but he and team-mate Alexander West fell 0.151s shy in their Garage 59 McLaren. Mark Radcliffe and Rob Bell claimed third in their Optimum 720S GT3 Evo, with John Ferguson and Raffaele Marciello’s RAM Racing Mercedes-AMG in fourth.
One-time pace-setter Euan Hankey and Lucky Khera wound up fifth in the RACE LAB McLaren, with Shaun Balfe and Sandy Mitchell rounding out the top six in Barwell’s #78 Lamborghini Huracan.
Having been effectively ruled out of the last weekend at Donington Park due to a persistent electrical issue in their Porsche 718 Cayman, Zac Meakin and Dan Vaughan wasted little time in getting back on it, with a stellar effort from Vaughan putting the car to the head of the GT4 times.
Vaughan pumped in a 1m55.1s on his third tour and that stood until the end, with only Seb Hopkins and Josh Miller’s R Racing Aston Martin Vantage AMR managing to get within two tenths of the Porsche.
Runaway championship leaders Charles Clark and Jack Brown were third quickest in Optimum’s Artura, with Ed McDermott and Mikey Broadhurst taking fourth overall and the fastest time in GT4 Pro-Am in the Motus One Mercedes-AMG.
Tom Holland and Michael Crees were fifth in their Raceway Ginetta G56, with Darren Burke and Harry George completing the top six in Enduro’s McLaren.
The second free practice session takes place at 12:35.