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Night Practice: Marciello and Mercedes-AMG maintain their fast start at Kyalami

Night Practice: Marciello and Mercedes-AMG maintain their fast start at Kyalami

> Result: Night Practice

AKKA ASP maintained their early dominance of this year’s Joburg Kyalami 9 Hour by adding fastest time in Night Practice to their testing clean sweep from earlier today.

Raffaele Marciello and Jules Gounon each went quickest during daylight hours before the Italian notched up another benchmark time for Mercedes-AMG during tonight’s 90-minute session.

His compatriot Antonio Fuoco set the early pace aboard AF Corse’s #71 Ferrari, which topped the times at the end of the first 15 minutes. His best of 1m43.179s represented the day’s fastest time up to that point, but it wasn’t enough to deny Marciello.

Instead, AKKA ASP’s entry resumed its customary place at the head of the field before the opening 20 minutes were up when Marciello’s 1m42.987s cut 0.192s from Fuoco’s time.

With new tyre runs seemingly complete, teams spent the remaining 70 minutes working on long run pace in preparation for Friday’s qualifying and Superpole.

SunEnergy1 underlined Mercedes-AMG’s strong form by going third quickest thanks to Mikael Grenier who lapped 0.3s shy of AKKA’s pace. His Pro-Am entry was the only non-drivers’ championship contender to feature in the top-six overall.

The first of the Audis was next up after Team WRT’s R8 narrowly beat AF Corse’s second Ferrari to fifth, while Sainteloc’s Audi completed the first half dozen.

Teams and drivers will have a further one-hour-45-minutes to hone their setups tomorrow morning before qualifying takes place at 15:30. That’s followed by Superpole at 18:00.

Photo: Anton Wannenburg / Mercedes-AMG