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Intercontinental GT Challenge

Sainteloc’s Gachet Leads at Halfway Mark in Abu Dhabi

Sainteloc Junior Team Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II of Simon Gachet leads Gulf 12 Hours…

Photo: Audi

The No. 26 Sainteloc Junior Team Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II of Simon Gachet leads the Gulf 12 Hours at the halfway mark, with split strategies still at play in the Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli season finale.

Gachet holds a three-second lead over the the No. 71 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 of Antonio Fuoco, following a brake change while under Full Course Yellow conditions for the Prancing Horse.

The fourth FCY of the race was deployed midway through the sixth hour for an accident by the No. 11 Kessel Racing Ferrari of Marco Pulcini, who slammed into the barriers on the final corner.

AF Corse, which had been leading at the time with Fuoco, took advantage of the lengthy FCY to retrieve the stricken Am class Ferrari, which was stuck in gear and struggled to get onto the flat-bed tow truck for nearly 20 minutes.

The No. 75 SunEnergy1 by SPS Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo of Phillip Ellis runs third overall and first in the GT3 Pro-Am class although is due a pit stop.

Audi Sport Team Tressor’s Dennis Marschall runs fourth and theoretically holds a slight advantage as the only car to have made six of the ten ‘Imposed Pit Stops’ so far, compared to five stops for the Sainteloc and AF Corse entries.

The No. 777 Al Manar Racing by GetSpeed Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo of Fabian Schiller, which has led outright at stages, was forced into the pits in early in the sixth hour due to a puncture, a stop that was under the 1 minute and 40-second minimum time to count towards the ten minimum.

It now runs in fifth, ahead of the Benjamin Goethe-driven Pro-Am class No. 88 Garage 59 McLaren 720S GT3 and the No. 50 AF Corse Ferrari of Alessio Rovera.

The field had yet to form behind the safety car at the six-hour mark, with stewards electing to run under FCY conditions for the duration of the delay.

A number of cars have been retired, including the No. 7 Inception Racing McLaren (suspension), No. 16 EBM Giga Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R (accident), and the pair of Mercedes-AMG Team GruppeM entries that dropped out by the second hour that has IGTC championship implications.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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