Team WRT Audi on top as official testing sets the scene for Fanatec GT Sprint finale at Valencia

Team WRT Audi on top as official testing sets the scene for Fanatec GT Sprint finale at Valencia

Team WRT has made the perfect start to its final Fanatec GT Sprint weekend with Audi by topping Thursday's official testing at Valencia. 

The Belgian squad is bidding for a record-extending ninth teams' title this weekend, while Dries Vanthoor and Charles Weerts are in sight of a third successive drivers' crown. The #32 Audi was among the front-runners for the majority of the four-hour session and moved back to P1 during the final 30 minutes thanks to a 1m31.496s from Weerts. 

This displaced Christian Engelhart, who produced impressive pace at the controls of the #54 Dinamic Motorsport Porsche to place second. The Italian squad scored its best Sprint result of 2021 at Valencia and an excellent showing on Thursday suggests that more of the same is possible this weekend. 

Sky Tempesta Racing was third fastest overall and quickest in the Silver Cup thanks to Chris Froggatt. The British squad is looking for a strong conclusion to what has been a difficult first year running Mercedes-AMG equipment. 

The #89 Akkodis ASP Mercedes-AMG was fourth overall in the hands of Timur Boguslavskiy, who alongside teammate Raffaele Marciello is hoping to knock Weerts and Vanthoor from the top of the drivers' standings. A gap of 0.123s suggests that they will be in the hunt this weekend, while Marciello can also claim the combined Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS drivers' crown. 

Fifth overall and second in the Silver Cup went to the sister #86 Akkodis ASP Mercedes-AMG driven by Petru Umbrarescu. The best of the Pro-Am runners was the #111 JP Motorsport McLaren of Patryk Krupinski and Norbert Siedler, which was 11th overall with the latter at the wheel. 

25 of the 26 cars entered for this weekend's race were on-track during the four-hour session. The exception was the #18 GSM Novamarine Lamborghini, which will be driven by Danny Kroes and series debutant Joshua Kreuger. The top-23 cars in the session were covered by less than one second. 

Competitors have until tomorrow morning to fine tune their machinery, with free practice scheduled for 09:00 CEST. Pre-qualifying will run at 13:10, with both sessions set to last 80 minutes. 

The serious action begins at 09:00 on Saturday with qualifying 1, followed by the opening race at 14:00. The same format will be repeated to close the 2022 Fanatec GT Sprint season on Sunday. As ever, the action will air in English, German, French and Italian on the GTWorld YouTube channel.

Friday 16 September
09:40-11:00: Free Practice
13:10–14:30: Pre-Qualifying

Saturday 17 September
09:00–09:20: Qualifying 1
14:00–15:00: Race 1

Sunday 18 September
09:00–09:20: Qualifying 2
14:00–15:00: Race 2