Witham-born British racer James Winslow set the fastest time of the first day of track action at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi in the #1 GRAFF Ligier JS P3. The 2017 FRD LMP3 champion toured the circuit in 2:09.113 with just over 20 minutes to go in Night Practice session.
His time was just 0.021 faster than the second quickest time of the night session (and the day), set by Jean-Baptiste Lahaye in the ULTIMATE Ligier. Lahaye was on the pace all day, setting the fastest Free Practice 1 time earlier in the day – a 2:09.549 on his final flying lap during the session.
Third fastest of the day was the #24 United Autosports Ligier of Michael Benham, Salih Yoluc, Patrick Byrne and Guy Cosmo. The best time from the quartet was a 2:09.222 during the night running.
The best time set by a GT car in the two sessions was a 2:08.285 set by Miguel Molina in the GT Pro-entered Kessel Racing Ferrari 488 GT3. The time was good enough for fourth overall in the standings and just under two tenths faster than the #99 Attempto Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3.
Third fastest of the 11 GT3 cars entered in the GT Pro, GT Pro/Am and GT Gentlemen classes (which includes two Renault R.S.01s entered by GP Extreme, was #27 R.S.01 of Stuart Hall. The former Aston Martin Racing factory driver reeled off a 2:09.930 to go sixth overall and fastest of the GT Pro/Am class runners.
The best lap by a Gentlemen class runner was a 2:12.262 by David Perel in Dragon Racing’s 458 GT3.
In the afternoon, Kessel topped the times in FP1, during which the times were much slower as the teams and drivers got up to speed. The best time was a 2:10.474 set by the team’s GT Pro/Am #77 Ferrari.
In this year’s race there’s also a selection of GT machinery racing in the three GTX categories for one-make, Cup and GT4 cars.
The best lap of the day in GTX1 was set by Target Racing’s #46 Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo of Karim Al Azheri. The car’s line-up for Saturday’s race also features a name very familiar to DSC readers: Le Mans winner Jan Lammers.
Free Practice 3 at Yas Marina is set to get underway at 08:30am local time in Abu Dhabi.