Official test sessions kick off the action at Circuit Paul Ricard

Official test sessions kick off the action at Circuit Paul Ricard

The test sessions remained mostly incident-free and allowed for a decent number of clean runs, giving reliable first impressions of speed and performance. And those first impressions are, to say the least, more than promising!

It was Saintéloc Junior Team's #42 Audi R8 LMS GT4 who came flying out of the starting blocks to dominate session 1, with Grégory Guilvert hitting the fastest lap time at 2'13.682. The same car confirmed in session 2 with another fastest lap (2'13.045), this time closely followed by two BMW M4 GT4 entries: last week's winners Schrey/Piana in the #2 from Hofor Racing by Bonk Motorsport and Joulie/Gedik in the #11 from Borusan Otomotiv.

Margins got ever smaller and in the third session no less than 12 cars from all three classes hit lap times within a single second. This time Aston Martin (#74 Weyrich/Lachenauer, Racing Spirit of Léman), Alpine (#110 Hurgon/Ferté, Autosport GP LS Group Performance) and Toyota (#8 Potty/Cheli, Xwift Racing Events) made up the top 3, separated by a mere 0.05 of a second.

To top it all off in the final, one hour session 4, the six fastest times were divided between cars of six different brands! A strong second at 2'13.025 was put on the tables by one of the visiting GT4 Scandinavia entries (Emil Skaras in the #290 Gazoo Racing Sweden Toyota GR Supra GT4 Evo). But the allround fastest lap of the entire day goes to the #15 NM Racing Team Mercedes-AMG, thanks to Lluc Ibanez hitting the first sub-2'13'' chrono. His 2'12.650 was only 0.3 seconds off last year's Pole Position-time here at Circuit Paul Ricard.

A very promising turn of speed by a wide variety of teams, brands and drivers. Now as engine roars fade for the day and evening falls over Circuit Paul Ricard, teams concentrate on final preparations for the racing weekend. Free practice sessions are scheduled for Friday at 11.25 and 17.30 CEST, and lap times will be even more closely watched as of Saturday, when Qualifying starts at 9.15 CEST. Race 1 follows on Saturday afternoon (14.55 CEST) and Race 2 is on the timetable for Sunday morning (11.35 CEST).

Results Official Paid Test Session