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Ibañez and Joulié grab top spot in first Misano practice for NM Racing Team

1 July 2022

Lluc Ibañez and Enzo Joulié continued their strong recent form by topping the opening GT4 European Series free practice session at a scorching Misano.

The pair led the way for virtually the entire session, with Ibañez’s early effort being enough to displace first Moritz Wiskirchen’s #44 Allied Racing Porsche and then Nico Verdonck’s #25 PROsport Aston Martin from the top of the times before handing across to Joulié.

Ibañez improved even further on his second run, putting the #15 Mercedes-AMG a huge seven tenths clear at the flag. Pro-Am championship leaders Jean Luc Beaubelique and Jim Pla claimed second in the #87 Akkodis ASP Team Mercedes-AMG, with Pla’s late best also setting the Pro-Am benchmark. 

A fine lap from Akhil Rabindra put the #19 Racing Spirit of Léman Aston Martin he shares with Tom Canning third fastest overall, ahead of the #66 CMR Toyota GR Supra of Romain Monti/Antoine Potty. Eric Debard and Simon Gachet were fifth fastest overall and second in Pro-Am in their #81 Akkodis ASP Mercedes-AMG. Silver Cup points leaders Gus Bowers and Konstantin Lachenauer were sixth overall in the #10 Racing Spirit of Léman Vantage.

W&S Motorsport’s Hendrik Still and Max Kronberg were seventh overall and third in the Pro-Am order after a strong session for the #38 Porsche 718 Cayman, just holding off Filip Vava/Jakub Knoll in the #51 NM Racing Team Mercedes-AMG.

In the Am class, W&S Motorsport’s Mikhail Loboda and Andrey Solukovtsev led the way aboard their #37 Porsche 718 Cayman. Markus Lungstrass had set the early pace in the #18 Team Spirit Racing Aston Martin before Loboda put the Porsche clear in 22nd place overall. Stanislav Safronov/Aleksandr Vaintrub were second in the #88 NM Racing Team Mercedes-AMG, with Benjamin and Mauro Ricci grabbing third in their Akkodis ASP Mercedes-AMG. Michael Blanchemain/Christophe Hamon were fourth in the Team Fullmotorsport Audi, with Massimiliano Tresoldi/Paolo Meloni completing the top five in the W&D Racing Team BMW M4. Am class leaders Wilfried Cazalbon and Julien Lambert sat out the session while the final repairs were being made to their #89 AGS Events Aston Martin after an accident during Thursday testing.