Vanthoor puts Team WRT Audi on top in first full-field session at Spa

Team WRT paced free practice at the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa as the full field of competitors took to the track for the fist time during the 2022 edition.

Dries Vanthoor was at the wheel of the #32 Audi to lead a stop-start session in which the red flag was displayed four times. The Belgian posted a 2m17.858s, 0.017s better than fellow countryman Alessio Picariello (#24 Herberth Motorsport Porsche), who was second overall and topped the Pro-Am order. Next came Gold Cup leader Lucas Auer, who made it three classes in the overall top-three with the #57 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG.

Augusto Farfus was fourth overall in the #98 ROWE Racing BMW, followed by the similar #34 Walkenhorst Motorsport-run car of Gold Cup entrant Jens Klingmann. Six brands were represented in the top-10, with German heavyweights Audi, Porsche, Mercedes-AMG and BMW joined by Italian marques Ferrari and Lamborghini. All 66 cars entered in this year’s race turned laps during the session.

Several of them hit problems, however. The first red flag came within just a few minutes of the track going green and was caused by the #8 AGS Events Lamborghini driven by Nicolas Gomar. The second was the longest and was required after the #46 Team WRT Audi of Nico Müller went off at Speaker’s Corner. Next it was Hubert Haupt, who found the gravel at Pouhon in the #5 HRT Mercedes-AMG. Finally, Maxime Oosten hit the barriers at the right-hand side of Raidillon, requiring the #28 Samantha Tan Racing BMW to be recovered on a flatbed truck.

Pre-Qualifying is next on the schedule at 16:15 and signals the start of live coverage from Spa-Francorchamps. At 20.40 competitors will tackle Qualifying for the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa, deciding the 20 entrants who progress to Friday’s Super Pole session and the final grid slots for positions 21 through 66.

For all live sessions, commentary is available in English, German, French and Italian via the GT World YouTube channel. Further streaming options can also be found on the official websites and Facebook pages of the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS and Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli.

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