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Intercontinental GT Challenge

GruppeM Mercedes Hits Trouble; WRT Continues to Lead at Sunset

Pole-sitting No. 999 Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo suffers gearbox issues in Kyalami 9 Hour…

Photo: Gruppe C Photography/Mercedes-AMG

GruppeM Racing suffered a significant setback as the pair of BMW M Team WRT entries continued to lead the Kyalami 9 Hour heading into the final three hours of the race.

The No. 999 Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo encountered gearbox issues roughly halfway into the Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli enduro, which saw Mikael Grenier and Maro Engel both limp the car around in an effort to make the 70 percent race distance mark needed to score points.

Engel oftentimes lapped four to five seconds off the pace while battling intermittent shifting issues.

It gave the pair of Tressor Attempto Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo IIs clear sailing for third and fourth, behind the two WRT BMW M4 GT3s, led by the No. 32 car of Dries Vanthoor.

The Belgian driver held a 6.8-second lead at sunset over teammate Philipp Eng, with the No. 66 Audi of Mattia Drudi third after co-driver Ricardo Feller pressured the No. 33 BMW for the runner-up position during his stint.

SunEnergy1 by SPS held control of the Pro-Am class, with Jules Gounon nearly about to overtake Engel on track to be the highest-placed Mercedes in fifth overall.

The No. 20 SPS Automotive Performance Mercedes ran second in Pro-Am, followed by the No. 4 Grove Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R, which was further delayed due to a pit stop infringement.

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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