> …But Pepper’s Bentley finishes just 0.014s adrift
> Result: Pre-Qualifying
Team Honda Racing’s Mario Farnbacher set the pace – and a new unofficial lap record – in the final session before qualifying at Kyalami this morning.
The NSX GT3 that also features Renger van der Zande and Bertrand Baguette hit the front early and remained unbeaten over the rest of the one-hour 45-minute session.
Farnbacher’s best of 1m42.320s was three tenths under Matt Campbell’s Thursday benchmark and a further 0.2s faster than Nick Tandy’s race record from 2019.
However, the Honda faced a twin pronged attack from Bentley whose M-Sport-run Continental GT3s completed the top-three. Seb Morris initially slotted into second but hinted at more to come by immediately setting a faster first sector, before team-mate Jordan Pepper lapped just 0.014s shy of Farnbacher’s best.
The second Bentley ended up 0.375s shy of the ultimate pace and just 0.020s clear of Dinamic’s championship-leading duo Laurens Vanthoor and Earl Bamber. Team-mate Kevin Estre caused one of the session’s two red flags when he harmlessly spun into the Turn 1 gravel trap with 30 minutes remaining. The Porsche was dragged clear and resumed soon after.
WRT’s #31 Audi finished fifth, one place clear of last night’s pace-setting Car Collection R8.
Behind, Walkenhorst’s #35 BMW shared by Tomczyk/Pittard/Yelloly continued to get back up to speed after losing most of its daylight running yesterday. The M6 finished seventh, one place clear of Lechner Racing’s Porsche and the sister BMW.
The first of Qualifying’s three 15-minute sessions begins at 14:20 SAST. Watch live coverage on SRO’s GT World Youtube channel and #IntGTC’s Facebook page.