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Kyalami: Gounon beats Marciello to Pre-Qualifying top-spot

Kyalami: Gounon beats Marciello to Pre-Qualifying top-spot


The SunEnergy1 by SPS Mercedes-AMG driven by Jules Gounon topped Pre-Qualifying at Kyalami this morning ahead of this afternoon’s three-part Qualifying session.

The French-Andorran couldn’t quite match his benchmark testing time but still did enough to beat GruppeM Racing’s Raffaele Marciello by 0.170s.

Gounon, who shares the Pro-Am entry with fellow Bathurst winner Kenny Habul and Yannick Mettler, set a 1m42.604s just before Clint Weston looped his Stradale Motorsport Mercedes-AMG into the Sunset tyre barriers. Any damage was largely cosmetic and the session began again with 70 minutes remaining.

At that stage Gounon enjoyed a 0.3s advantage over the rest of the top-six, which was covered by little more than a tenth. However, his advantage was eventually trimmed by Marciello once GruppeM bolted on fresh tyres.

Tresor Attempto’s Audis finished third and fourth with Dennis Marschall leading Patric Niederhauser, while Luca Stolz lapped 0.001s slower in the SPS automotive performance Mercedes-AMG.

It was an unusual session for WRT, which topped last night’s practice. Sheldon van der Linde ended up sixth quickest but four tenths down on Gounon, while Augusto Farfus was another 0.4s back.

Earl Bamber completed the top-eight in Grove Racing’s Porsche.

Qualifying begins at 15:00 SAST (GMT +2). Watch it live on GT World’s YouTube channel and on Supersport in South Africa.