The Byrne/McQuarrie crew's time of 1:41.493 had seen them top the leaderboard but Kuppens was able to better their lap by .542. Kuppens had to cover 13 laps to secure top spot; his rivals ran just 6. The Fascicolo/Cecchellero duo needed even fewer laps, only 4, to finish third - just .795 down on the overall leader. Covering less ground in practice might turn out to be a benefit in the race itself.
Fourth place was taken by Bakker/Sbirrazzuoli, who managed to limit the gap to Kuppens to eight tenths. Ange Barde came next, tracked by Ragazzi/Simoni, feeling comfortable at Sonoma. Mauro Calamia came seventh but his session ended early with technical problems. Adrien De Leener put in a solid performance to come eighth with Cola/Gobbi ninth and the Venier/Gardelli partnership taking tenth.
Two crashes saw the red flag come out twice during the session. Luckily, the accidents involving cars driven Hedman/Vogel and Bocellari/Delli Guanti and the Trofeo commanded by Harry Cheung did not lead to any injuries.
|2||33||Patrick Byrne / Tyler Mcquarrie||+0.542|
|3||7||Giuseppe Fascicolo / Andrea Cecchellero||+0.795|
|4||28||Mathjis Bakker / Cedric Sbirrazzuoli||+0.858|
|6||23||Riccardo Ragazzi / Alan Simoni||+1.470|
|8||14||Adrien De Leener||+1.721|
|9||41||Alberto Cola / Patrick Gobbo||+1.867|
|10||66||Fabio Venier / Andrea Gardelli||+2.336|
At the California circuit, the Belgian continued the form that has seen him secure the European title and seemed at home on a track where only a puncture in last year's Race 1 prevented him from scooping an amazing triple.
Kuppens' 1:40.538 was some three seconds faster than the lap that gave him pole in 2012. The other 26 drivers were off the leading pace: Riccardo Ragazzi, who finished second in last year's opening race and who is teaming up with Alan Simoni this weekend, came in six tenths down on the Belgian. Mathjis Bakker and Cedric Sbirrazzuoli drove brilliantly to take third, by two tenths, from Mikkel Mac - Mac stands second overall. Fifth went to Fascicolo/Cecchellero, followed by Mauro Calamia. The quickest Trofeo debutant was Jon Becker, 1.750 down on Kuppens. Venier/Gardelli, Cola/Gobbo and Damon Ockey filled the other top ten spots.