FIA GT practice: Prodrive serves notice...

Prodrive served notice of intent to the FIA GT Championship regulars when its debutant Ferrari 550 Maranello was fastest overall in the second of Friday's pair of free practice sessions at the Hungaroring

FIA GT practice: Prodrive serves notice...

The car had been entered for Silverstone's FIA GT round in May, with touring car aces Rickard Rydell and Alain Menu at the wheel, but it was not allowed to practice or start due to a regulations mix-up over the positioning of its gearbox.

At the Hungaroring, with a newly-fitted longitudinal 'box replacing the previous transverse layout, the car was on the pace 'out of the box'. After setting the eighth best time in the first session, the car's timesheet-topping fastest lap in the second session - set with Rydell at the wheel - was good enough for third overall. The time came despite damp conditions in the early stages of the 90-minute session.

"We're making progress," said the Swede. "We didn't expect it, but after the first session we knew we could do it. We're learning all the time. But we couldn't work as much as we would have liked, so we hope we have a good set-up for qualifying and the race."

Menu added: "It would be nice to get to the chequered flag this weekend, but we have never even run a full race distance, we just haven't had enough time. My aim is to win one or two races by the end of the season."

Fastest overall was session one times-topper Christophe Bouchut, whose Larbre Competition Viper set a time of 1m39.477s, despite carrying the maximum 100 kilos of success ballast.

Second fastest was Hungaroring debutant Tom Coronel, who took the lead Lister Storm past the beams in 1m39.704s. Rydell's Ferrari time was less than a tenth slower, at 1m39.797s.

Qualifying for the 2h45m race takes place on Saturday.


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