The Blancpain GT Sports Club round at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya got off to an early start on Friday as a group of 10 drivers took part in a series of paid test sessions.
After three hours of running, Denis Remenyako (pictured) - the winner of the previous race at Spa – set the fastest lap outright and also led the way in both the morning and the afternoon.
Remenyako’s best effort across the two sessions was a time of 1m 48.066 in the earlier on-track opportunity, during which the Blancpain GT Sports Club teams had the circuit to themselves for an hour and a half.
Remenyako set the pace ahead of Titanium Cup points leader Coach McKansy, who lapped just 0.308s behind in his green HP Racing International Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo.
Third in session one was James Sofronas who took the Audi R8 LMS GT2 out for its first Blancpain GT Sports Club timed run, while three-time Iron Cup champion Stephen Earle went fourth in the Overall charts with his Kessel Racing Ferrari 488 GT3.
Friday’s afternoon session lasting 90 minutes saw the Blancpain GT Sports Club competitors share the track with GT3 machinery from the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup.
Once again it was Remenyako on top, after the Capital Racing Team driver jumped ahead of Pierre Feligioni’s Boutsen Ginion Racing Lamborghini Gallardo GT3 in the order with just over an hour to go.
Earle also edged ahead of Feligioni in the second half of the session, with the experienced American going second-quickest.
Feligioni held on to third ahead of Sofronas, who completed nearly 60 laps behind the wheel of the new Audi GT2 car over the course of the day, while Luigi Lucchini rounded out the afternoon's Overall top five in the BMS Scuderia Italia Ferrari 458 GT3.
Also taking part in Friday's paid test were Angelique Detavernier, sampling a Lamborghini Huracan GT3 for the first time, as well as Pavel Strukov and Frederic Fangio who each gained valuable mileage in their Ferraris.
Tough Break for ERC Mercedes Team
The morning test session was red-flagged for a short while following an accident for ERC Sport’s Lee Mowle at the Turn 4 right-hander.
While the Englishman was able to climb out of his Mercedes-AMG GT3 unassisted, he confirmed that the chassis was too damaged to continue in the weekend.
ERC’s withdrawal effectively means that McKansy has sealed the Titanium Cup title, with the German ace too far ahead of his next-closest competitor to be challenged for the championship.
With private testing complete, the whole Blancpain GT Sports Club field can look forward to tomorrow when Free Practice gets underway at 9:30am.