The Sainteloc Junior Team’s No. 25 Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II led both Friday practice sessions at Misano, while Patric Niederhauser set the pace in pre-qualifying.
The Swiss driver kept the French team at the top after his Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Sprint Cup co-driver Aurelien Panis was fastest in free practice.
Niederhauser couldn’t quite match Panis’ 1:31.625 benchmark, but the factory Audi Sport driver still led the 80-minute pre-qualifying run with a 1:31.694 attempt.
He finished 0.113 seconds ahead of Dries Vanthoor, who was second for Team WRT.
Audis finished first, second, third and fourth as the pair of Tresor by Car Collection machines came through at nearly identical times.
Christopher Haase set a 1:31.966 in the No. 11 Car Collection R8, initially knocking his teammate Mattia Drudi off second by a thousandth of a second.
Vanthoor’s improvement in the second half of the session dropped Haase to third and Drudi to fourth.
The highest non-Audi entry was the Siler Cup-leading LP Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo driven by Jonathan Cecotto.
LP started Pre-Qualifying as a Pro-Am competitor and also set the pace in that category during free practice, but it was adjusted to Silver on Friday’s second session.
Cecotto registered a time of 1:31.970, with which the Nr. 888 Lamborghini was 0.363 seconds ahead of the No. 53 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 who finished second in Silver.
Seven Audis finished in the overall top 10, while WRT’s other two Pro class cars finished seventh and eighth, with Attempto Racing’s No. 99 car in tenth place behind Imperiale Racing Lamborghini.
The fastest Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo in pre-qualifying was the number 89 Akkodis ASP car that battled for the title in 15th place, almost a second slower than the normal pace.
It was one position below the No. 111 JP Motorsport McLaren 720S GT3, which was the leading Pro-Am car in 14th place at the end of the session.