Mercedes-AMG’s Tristan Vautier topped the times in the first Paid Practice session ahead of this weekend’s Suzuka 10 Hours earlier today after posting the fastest time during a largely dry first 15 minutes.
A short but very sharp shower, which even necessitated a brief stoppage, ensured no-one came close to toppling the GruppeM Racing driver’s 2m10.530s.
Strakka Racing’s similar #43 Mercedes-AMG was half-a-second behind courtesy of Maxi Goetz, while the first of the non-Intercontinental GT Challenge entries – HubAuto Corsa’s Ferrari driven by David Perel – completed the top-three another 0.5s further back.
Strakka’s second Pro-entered Mercedes-AMG, Audi Sport Team Absolute Racing’s R8 and the Porsche of D’station Racing rounded out the top-six.
The inclement weather that resulted in today’s scheduled city centre parade being cancelled persisted for much of the afternoon’s track action. However, with the weather system set to clear in the coming hours, it’s hoped drier conditions will greet teams and drivers tomorrow morning when the second Paid Practice session begins at 09:40 local time.