Suzuka FP1: Craft-Bamboo Porsche leads Mercedes-AMG and Audi; top-14 covered by a second

24 August 2018


Craft-Bamboo Racing’s Porsche set fastest time of the weekend so far in first official practice earlier today ahead of this weekend’s inaugural Suzuka 10 Hours.

The 120-minute session proved just as sunny as the morning’s test. Mathieu Jaminet was the first to really exploit those conditions by recording a 2m03.444s on only his third lap, which would ultimately remain good enough for top spot in the session and a tenth quicker than Nick Foster’s previous benchmark.

GruppeM Racing’s Mercedes-AMG was a front-runner throughout both Paid Practice sessions and maintained that run of form by claiming second place. Raffaele Marciello’s late effort saw the Italian finish three tenths behind his French rival and another 0.1s clear of Audi Team Hitotsuyama’s R8 LMS GT3 driven by Alessio Picariello.

HubAuto Corsa’s #27 Ferrari was fastest of the non-Intercontinental GT Challenge entries in fourth, while Audi Sport Team WRT beat the best of the Pro/Am cars - SunEnergy1 Racing’s Mercedes-AMG - to sixth.

Bentley Team M-Sport’s #8 Continental GT3 and Goodsmile Racing’s Mercedes-AMG rounded out the top-eight, while one second once again covered a top-14 that featured eight manufacturers.

Friday’s second practice session, which runs into darkness, begins at 18:30 this evening.