Ramos-Mac (Spirit of Race Ferrari) open the ball in free practice


It was a perfect day of free practice in sunny Estoril for the first day of track action of the 2017 International GT Open, with 22 cars in contention.

Local hero Miguel Ramos and Denmark’s Mikkel Mac, with the Spirit of Race Ferrari 488, posted the best time of the day (1.37.342), obtained in the morning session, which was the fastest for almost, as track conditions changed in the afternoon, with more wind and dust.

The brand new Lexus RC-F was second-fastest, only 0.188 seconds behind, with Albert Costa-Phillip Frommenwiler (Emil Frey Racing), the car of the Farnbacher brothers also making the top ten. It was an excellent debut for the brand new Japanese car, which was shake-down here beginning of the week.

Third (and first in Pro-Am) the McLaren 650S of Benham-Tappy (Garage 59), which preceded the Drivex Mercedes AMG of Brazil’s Khodair-Hahn, the FFF Racing Lamborghini Huracán of Liuzzi-Hamaguchi and the other Lambo of Postiglione-Fontana (Imperiale Racing). All these cars were within one second.  The best Am car was the MS Racing Mercedes of Konrad-Hrachowina.

In the slower afternoon session, the AF Corse Ferrari of Cioci-Perazzini was fastest ahead of another new entry, the SPS Automotive Performance Mercedes of Onslow Cole-Pierburg, while Hiroshi Hamaguchi (FFF Lambo) came first in the session for Bronze drivers.

No incidents at all were reported, with two of the BMW M6 cars of Teo Martín, the ones of Beirão-Da Costa and Bouveng-Rueda not taking the track. Having sufficiently tested during the extra day of private testing scheduled yesterday, the cars were left in the pits to save tires.

To be noted the last-minute absence of one of the full-season entrants, the SF Racing Ferrari of Caldarelli-Songyang, because of professional commitments of the Chinese driver, who will start the season at Spa.