FP1: ARN Racing’s Sasaki tops wet opening practice at Fuji

18 August 2017 FP1: ARN Racing’s Sasaki tops wet opening practice at Fuji

> Super Taikyu Ferrari squad beats BBT and Spirit of Race

> Craft-Bamboo Racing fastest in GT4 ahead of new Clearwater McLaren

> Result: FP1

Kota Sasaki claimed top spot for ARN Racing and Ferrari in Blancpain GT Series Asia’s wet opening practice session at Fuji Speedway earlier today, while Craft-Bamboo Racing were fastest of the GT4 runners.

Heavy rain just prior to practice, as well as light drizzle throughout, ensured track conditions only marginally improved during the 45-minute session. Lap times nevertheless became steadily quicker as the surface water evaporated, and ultimately it was Sasaki’s 1m51.519s - set in the final five minutes - that proved fastest of all. 

Davide Rizzo’s BBT entry - which has swapped from Ferrari to Audi this weekend - was 0.443s adrift in second after also improving late on, while Spirit of Race’s Rui Aguas hung on to third after spending much of the final 20 minutes at the top of the times. 

OD Racing’s Aditya Patel and Mitch Gilbert were fastest of the Silver Cup crews in fourth, albeit just 0.019s behind Aguas and another two tenths clear of Seiji Ara’s D’station Racing Porsche.  The Audi R8 LMS Cup entry of Alexs Au and Yoong completed the top-six.

FFF Racing Team’s Zhu Junhan and Lin Yue were quickest of the GT3 Am pairings in 15th overall. Their best of 1m53.190s was 0.3s faster than their nearest rivals and current championship leaders Naoto Takeda and Takuya Shirasaka (KCMG).

The GT4 class was also close with just 0.3s separating Craft-Bamboo Racing’s Porsche from the new McLaren 570S GT4 entered by Clearwater Racing. Jean-Marc Merlin ultimately came out on top thanks to his best of 2m02.645s.

The session's only red flag was caused by FIST - Team AAI's #91 BMW, which was left stranded with a clutch issue on its out-lap after just five minutes. Fortunately only a small amount of track time was lost before the session continued.

Second practice gets underway at 15:45 local time.