FP2: Picariello leaves it late in damp second session at Fuji

18 August 2017 FP2: Picariello leaves it late in damp second session at Fuji

> Times tumble as track dries

> Clearwater Racing’s new McLaren 570S paces GT4 class

> Result: FP2 

A late flying lap on a drying circuit helped Alessio Picariello, J-Fly by Absolute Racing and Audi top the times in Blancpain GT Series Asia’s second practice session at Fuji Speedway earlier this afternoon, while in the GT4 class Clearwater Racing’s new McLaren 570S set the pace.

The day’s earlier rain had eased between sessions and, with a dry line beginning to form by the end of FP2, it was no surprise to see lap times significantly faster than first practice.  

Aditya Patel led at the halfway mark, but as conditions improved so his initial benchmark became increasingly obsolete. Several drivers spent time at the top thereafter before Picariello seized his moment to set the fastest time of the weekend so far: a 1m42.326s.

That was more than nine seconds quicker than Kota Sasaki’s wet FP1 fastest time and just 0.062s quicker than Jules Szymkowiak who deposed GruppeM team-mate Maxi Buhk just before a late red flag brought the session to a premature end.

Buhk, who led the way for a while, was another 0.083 slower in the second Mercedes-AMG while Sasaki continued his and ARN Racing’s excellent form by claiming the fourth fastest time to end up half-a-tenth behind in the Ferrari that usually competes in Super Taikyu. 

Martin Rump and Mitch Gilbert’s Audis completed the top-six ahead of Rui Aguas’ 488 GT3 and the Audi Hong Kong-entered R8. Darryl O’Young’s Porsche and Kei Cozzolino’s Lamborghini made it five different manufacturers inside the top-10.

The Am Cup spoils went to KCMG’s Takuya Shirasaka and Naoto Takeda who beat FFF Racing’s Lin Yue and Zhu Junhan by half-a-second.

Meanwhile, Clearwater Racing’s McLaren threw down the gauntlet to the chasing pack of Porsches by topping the GT4 class times. Mok Weng Sun’s best of 1m53.803s was 0.569s faster than Ringo Chong’s HubAuto Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR and another half-second clear of Taiwan TopSpeed’s Keo Chang.

A packed day of Blancpain GT Series Asia action begins with final practice at 08.40 local time tomorrow morning. That’s followed by qualifying and the first of this weekend’s two hour-long races.