Christoph Ulrich has set the fastest time in the opening Blancpain GT Sports Club practice at the Hungaroring, round five of this season’s campaign, as the AF Corse driver posted a 1:46.711 flyer in the closing moments of the session aboard the #51 Ferrari 458 Italia GT3.
In the Iron Cup category, Klaus Dieter Frers outpaced title rival Stephen Earle (#111 Kessel Racing Ferrari 458 Italia GT3) to go fastest in class with the #3 Artega Rennsport Ferrari 488 GT3. The US driver has a double programme this weekend in Budapest and was just coming off the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup qualifying session.
Blue skies and warm temperatures greeted the Blancpain GT Sports Club riders and runners when they took to Budapest’s F1 track for the very first time in the series’ three-year history.
Karim Ojjeh set the early pace aboard the #2 BMW M6 GT3, heading Blancpain GT Sports Club Overall points leader Anthony Pons (#72 Mercedes-AMG GT3) by a mere 0.167s. The AKKA ASP driver then edged past his Boutsen Ginion rival in the second half of the 30-minute practice, only to see Frers better his lap time.
The Iron Cup charger looked set to finish FP1 on top, but that was before Ulrich produced a late effort with AF Corse team-mate Patrick van Glabeke also moving up to second fastest in the #488 Ferrari 488 GT3. Behind third-placed Frers were title contenders Pons and Ojjeh, in fourth and fifth respectively.
The second Blancpain GT Sports Club free practice is just around the corner with the session set to start at 12:05, local time. Make sure to follow the session live, as teams and drivers fine tune their final preparations ahead of Saturday afternoon’s all-important qualifying session.
Full FP1 results can be found here