Nick Tandy took Frikadelli Racing to victory in Saturday’s Kyalami 9 Hour with an impressive final stint in wet conditions, allowing Porsche and Dennis Olsen to provisionally claim the Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli championships.
The Brit made his way past Richard Lietz’s similar Porsche 911 GT3 R shortly after a restart in the final half hour of the returning South African enduro.
It gave victory to the No. 31 Frikadelli Porsche shared by Tandy, Olsen and Mathieu Jaminet and secured Porsche’s first manufacturers’ title in IGTC history, while confirming Norwegian Olsen as drivers’ champion.
Porsche won three of five IGTC races this year, with victories from EBM at Bathurst and GPX Racing at Spa coupled with Frikadelli’s Kyalami win.
Olsen, meanwhile, was the only repeat overall race winner this year, having taken top honors at Bathurst.
The race ran under Full Course Yellow and safety car conditions for two hours towards the end on account of treacherous weather conditions after darkness fell.
The FCY had originally been called for Rodrigo Baptista’s Team M-Sport Bentley Continental GT3 going off track but the race remained neutralized when rain became heavier and thunderstorms arrived at the circuit.
It got back underway with 25 minutes on the clock in wet conditions, with Yelmer Buurman initially leading the pack in the No. 10 SPS Automotive Performance Mercedes-AMG GT3.
The Dutchman lost pace over the next couple of laps and was initially passed by Lietz before Tandy and Nick Catsburg also made their way past.
Lietz, in a car with no potential drivers’ champions, then allowed Tandy past, but then lost another position to Catsburg’s BMW M6 GT3 a couple of laps later.
Catsburg eventually finished second in the Walkenhorst Motorsport car, 6.735 seconds behind Tandy, with GPX’s Lietz completing the podium in third.
Buurman settled for fifth in the best of the Mercedes-AMG GT3s after losing a position to Audi Sport Team Land’s Christopher Haase on the final lap.
The SPS car was the manufacturer’s only Pro class entry to finish after early retirements for its GruppeM and Strakka Racing-entered machines.
Another BMW, the Team Schnitzer car of Augusto Farfus, led the field for much of the safety car period on account of the Brazilian driver being on a different strategy.
He pitted from the lead at the end of his permitted stint time just a couple of minutes before the race went green, and the car eventually crossed the line seventh.
Porsche Doubles Up With Silver Class Win
Silver class honors went to the No. 9 Lechner Racing Porsche of Lars Kern, Saul Hack and Dylan Pereira, who finished 13th overall.
The trio benefitted after the then class-leading No. 6 Black Falcon Mercedes of Sergei Afanasiev got high-sited on a curb while under the rain-soaked safety car period, and took more than five minutes to get going.
The No. 43 Strakka Racing Mercedes if Dominik Baumann, Christina Nielsen and Adrian Henry D’Silva, meanwhile, picked up the Pro-Am class win, virtually from the start.
It came after clutch failure that sent the only other Pro-Am class entry of Chris Goodwin off-course in the No. 188 Garage 59 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 on the second lap.
Am Cup and Group National honors, meanwhile went to Walkenhorst (BMW) and Pablo Clark Racing (Ferrari), respectively.
RESULTS: Kyalami 9H