The inaugural season of the GT4 South European Series kicked off today at Circuit Paul Armagnac with the first official practice. The top contenders left a strong impression.
It was under a glorious sun that Circuit Paul Armagnac welcomed the GT4 South European Series caravan. The nine-strong entry took over the racetrack situated in the French Pyrenees, sharing the asphalt with the thirty-four exclusively entered cars in the Championnat de France FFSA de GT – GT4 France.
With a deep knowledge of the circuit, the Saintéloc Racing drivers were the fastest, with the team’s three Audi R8 LMS GT4 topping the timesheets of the day. The reigning French GT4 champions Fabien Michal and Grégory Guilvert were the quickest, beating their teammates Simon Gachet and Eric Debard by two-tenths of a second.
Saintéloc Racing’s Audi driven by Olivier Esteves and Anthony Beltoise, the son of 72 Monaco Grand Prix winner Jean-Pierre Beltoise, finished third in the session.
Just behind the Ingolstadt-built cars, Benoit Lison and Vincent Beltoise placed the #919 Mirage Racing Alpine A110 GT4 entry in fourth, and were followed by Team Speed Car’s Alpine of Benjamin Lariche and Robert Consani, a duo that were GT4 France title contenders until the last race.
The sixth fastest was Veloso Motorsport’s duo Miguel Cristóvão and Francisco Abreu, who are having their first contact with the Portuguese team-run Mercedes-AMG GT4 this weekend. Visiting the French circuit for the first time, the Portuguese pair evolved during the session, which allowed them to finish in front of the #23 ABM Grand Prix Ginetta G55 GT4 shared by Christophe Vernet and Pierre-André Nicolas.
The #616 Mirage Racing Alpine entry, shared by Axel and Rémi Van Straaten brothers, set the eighth fastest time, just behind the British car.
Tockwith Motorsport that is joining in the GTC class so its drivers – Marmaduke Hall e Edward Moore – can gain international experience was ninth in the timesheets, showing a positive progression during the one-hour long session.
The GT4 South European Series hit the track again tomorrow in the morning for the second Free Practice session. The qualifying sessions are scheduled to start at 17.10pm (GMT).
The first race will start at 15.45 on Sunday and the second 60-minute race is scheduled for Monday at 12.50. Both races can be followed live at the GT4 South European Series’ Youtube channel at www.youtube.com/channel/UC4gA1mGoZHAUgk-eg4lYBOw?view_as=subscriber.