Free practice

Paul Ricard - FRA

Renaud Kuppens

Barde/Sicart top the timesheet

The Ange Barde/Jonathan Sicart crew was quickest in the second free practice session at the opening round of the 2013 Trofeo Maserati.

The French outfit clocked a best time of 2:16.701, slightly slower than the lap put in by Kuppens in the earlier workout, but still over a tenth faster than Cola/Gobbo. Session 2 was a close-run thing with the first seven grouped within three tenths of each other and the top nine within a second. There was nothing much to separate the drivers in the 45-minute session, showing just how much they were getting to know the track.

The quickest of the Team entrants were Venier/Gardelli, who came third overall. They did just enough to beat Calamia/Romagnoli, fifth behind Ragazzi/Simoni, and Renaud Kuppens. The Belgian called an early halt to his session and was just beaten by Mikkel Mac, a driver who really improved on his morning display.

Romani/Zamparini, in eighth, also did well, as did Fascicolo/Cecchellero; again in a top ten in which Maxim Akhtyamov claimed the final spot.

Free practice 2

1 32Jonathan Sicart / Ange Barde2:16.701
2 41Alberto Cola / Patrick Gobbo+0.109
3 66Fabio Venier / Andrea Gardelli+0.199
4 23Riccardo Ragazzi / Alan Simoni+0.233
5 35Mauro Calamia / Riccardo Romagnoli+0.240
6 22Mikkel Mac+0.273
7 1Renaud Kuppens+0.300
8 8Carlo Romani / Patrick Zamparini+0.676
9 7Giuseppe Fascicolo / Andrea Cecchellero+0.796
10 99Maxim Akhtyamov+1.364

Kuppens gets off on the right foot

Renaud Kuppens was the driver who engineered the quickest lap today. The free practice session at Paul Ricard, France, was the opening event in this weekend’s first round of the 2013 season.

The reigning champion posted 2:16.221, almost a tenth up on Calamia/Romagnoli and nearly two-tenths faster than Fascicolo/Cecchellero, the top Trofeo drivers. Next up came Swiss pairing Venier/Gardelli, Ragazzi/Simoni and Cola/Gobbo, making their series debut.

The early action was run on a dry track, with rain threatening, allowing the drivers to gradually get to know the circuit without taking too many risks. Later, with more rubber laid down, the times really dropped: the top ten drivers were bunched within two seconds of each other.

Pellegrinelli/Cadei stood out among the drivers making their debut – they came seventh, edging out Zamparini/Romani, a crew with experience in the last Trofeo Maserati Middle East. Also doing well were Foglio/Zanini, twelfth, and Cesari/Bettini, fourteenth; Boccellari/Delli Guanti and Silva/Rayneri had a tougher time of it. Mikkel Mac, driving alone, scored a superb eleventh place behind the experts Segler and Bakker. Another driver deserving a mention is Maxim Akhtyamov, thirteenth - the first Russian to appear in a Trofeo.

Free practice 1

1 1Renaud Kuppens2:16.221
2 35Mauro Calamia / Riccardo Romagnoli+0.100
3 7Giuseppe Fascicolo / Andrea Cecchellero+0.189
4 66Fabio Venier / Andrea Gardelli+0.473
5 23Riccardo Ragazzi / Alan Simoni+0.958
6 41Alberto Cola / Patrick Gobbo+1.127
7 37Gianandrea Pellegrinelli / Niki Cadei+1.137
8 8Carlo Romani / Patrick Zamparini+1.307
9 5Andreas Segler+1.877
10 28Mathijs Bakker+2.012

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