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Kyalami: Vanthoor heads top-eight covered by four tenths in Night Practice

Kyalami: Vanthoor heads top-eight covered by four tenths in Night Practice


Team WRT moved to the fore during the first official session of this year’s Kyalami 9 Hour by topping Night Practice through Dries Vanthoor.

The BMWs had looked likely to finish one-two after establishing themselves up front early on but were ultimately separated by several cars after the top-eight was eventually covered by less than four tenths.

Unusually, the cooler evening conditions at altitude didn’t produce a faster time than during Thursday’s earlier daytime test sessions in which Jules Gounon set a 1m42.578s. Vanthoor was almost four tenths shy of that but his 1m42.910s but was still sufficient to beat Tresor Attempto’s Mattia Drudi by 0.091s.

The Italian’s Audi jumped up to second late in the 90-minute session after WRT’s BMWs, which were initially crewed by Charles Weerts and Augusto Farfus, traded fastest times early on.

The second Pro Audi finished just 0.04s down on the sister machine in third, while GruppeM’s Mercedes-AMG also pushed the #33 BMW back a place before the finish.

Another Mercedes-AMG, this time driven by Luca Stolz (SPS automotive performance), completed the top-six ahead of Gounon’s SunEnergy1 entry.

Grove Racing’s Porsche finished eighth.

Pre-Qualifying begins at 10:30 SAST (GMT +2) tomorrow before three 15-minute qualifying sessions set the grid for Saturday’s race. Watch Friday’s track action live on SRO’s GT World YouTube channel.