Brands Hatch European F3: Lucas Auer sets practice pace

Lucas Auer set the fastest time during the 80 minutes of free practice ahead of this weekend's Formula 3 European Championship round at Brands Hatch

Brands Hatch European F3: Lucas Auer sets practice pace

The Austrian, who has never raced at Brands but learned the 1.2-mile Indy circuit a couple of months ago in a test in a Formula Renault BARC car, edged out Prema Powerteam Dallara-Mercedes team-mate Raffaele Marciello by 0.049 seconds.

Championship leader Marciello was narrowly ahead of the Mucke Motorsport Dallara-Mercedes of Felix Rosenqvist, who headed the first 40-minute session.

An improvement on the very last lap meant that Mans Grenhagen moved up to fourth, just behind fellow Swede Rosenqvist, in his Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara-Volkswagen.

Felix Serralles (Fortec Motorsport Dallara-Mercedes) and Jordan King (Carlin Dallara-VW) rounded out the top six.

The most significant incident occurred with two minutes remaining in the first session, when Alex Lynn - second fastest at the time - spun at McLaren and gently nosed his Prema car into the barriers at Clearways.

The Englishman missed the first 12 minutes of the second session, but went seventh fastest, just 0.002s behind fifth fastest Serralles.

Tom Blomqvist, Dennis van de Laar and Michael Lewis completed the top 10. Of the other UK drivers, Harry Tincknell was 11th, Josh Hill 12th, Will Buller 13th and Jann Mardenborough - the last man within half a second of the fastest time - 18th.

Qualifying takes place later this afternoon, with the field split into two groups - odd and even numbers - for their two sessions owing to traffic concerns arising from a 29-car field on a 41-second lap.

Combined practice times: Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Lucas Auer Prema Dallara-Merc 41.276s 2. Raffaele Marciello Prema Dallara-Merc 41.325s + 0.049s 3. Felix Rosenqvist Mucke Dallara-Merc 41.348s + 0.072s 4. Mans Grenhagen Van Amersfoort Dallara-VW 41.450s + 0.174s 5. Felix Serralles Fortec Dallara-Merc 41.468s + 0.192s 6. Jordan King Carlin Dallara-VW 41.469s + 0.193s 7. Alex Lynn Prema Dallara-Merc 41.470s + 0.194s 8. Tom Blomqvist Eurointernational Dallara-Merc 41.478s + 0.202s 9. Dennis van de Laar Van Amersfoort Dallara-VW 41.532s + 0.256s 10. Michael Lewis Mucke Dallara-Merc 41.560s + 0.284s 11. Harry Tincknell Carlin Dallara-VW 41.596s + 0.320s 12. Josh Hill Fortec Dallara-Merc 41.601s + 0.325s 13. Will Buller T-Sport Dallara-Nissan 41.603s + 0.327s 14. Sven Muller Ma-con Dallara-VW 41.613s + 0.337s 15. Lucas Wolf URD Dallara-Merc 41.654s + 0.378s 16. Antonio Giovinazzi Double R Dallara-Merc 41.672s + 0.396s 17. Daniil Kvyat Carlin Dallara-VW 41.683s + 0.407s 18. Jann Mardenborough Carlin Dallara-VW 41.723s + 0.447s 19. Nicholas Latifi Carlin Dallara-VW 41.837s + 0.561s 20. Pipo Derani Fortec Dallara-Merc 41.874s + 0.615s 21. Eddie Cheever Prema Dallara-Merc 41.891s + 0.686s 22. Roy Nissany Mucke Dallara-Merc 41.962s + 0.748s 23. Spike Goddard T-Sport Dallara-Nissan 42.024s + 0.790s 24. Mitchell Gilbert Mucke Dallara-Merc 42.066s + 0.916s 25. Andre Rudersdorf Ma-con Dallara-VW 42.192s + 1.740s 26. Sean Gelael Double R Dallara-Merc 42.385s + 1.109s 27. Tatiana Calderon Double R Dallara-Merc 42.646s + 1.370s 28. Sandro Zeller Zeller Dallara-Merc 42.755s + 1.479s 29. Michela Cerruti Romeo Ferraris Dallara-Merc 43.815s + 2.539s 
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