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Intercontinental GT Challenge

KCMG Fastest in Quali; Top 10 Set for Pole Shootout

Weather-affected quali session decides the ten cars that will battle for pole…

Photo: Dirk Bogaerts/SRO

KCMG set the pace in Friday afternoon’s weather-affected qualifying session at Kyalami, which was held to decide the ten cars to go through to Pole Shootout.

Josh Burdon, Joao Paulo de Oliveira and Katsumasa Chiyo set a combined lap time of 1:46.578 to led the session made up of three 15-minute sprints. Each driver set a time and the combination of the three set each car’s time.

Dinamic Motorsport’s Porsche 911 GT3 R that includes title contender Matt Campbell was second quickest, while the GPX Racing and Frikadelli Racing Porsches also make it into the Pole Shootout.

Two Mercedes-AMG GT3s, of GruppeM and SPS Automotive Performance, are in the top ten, along with the Honda Team Motul NSX GT3 Evo, Audi Sport Team Land R8 LMS GT3 Evo and Team Schnitzer BMW M6 GT3.

R-Motorsport’s No. 76 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 provisionally placed third but that car, driven by Enaam Ahmed, Jake Dennis and Maxime Martin, is under investigation for an unsafe release that caused contact with the Land Audi.

Five of seven drivers’ title contenders have made it into the Pole Shootout: Maxi Buhk, Maxi Goetz, Dennis Olsen, Matt Campbell and Christopher Haase.

Only Frederic Vervisch and Dirk Werner didn’t, and their cars will provisionally start Saturday’s race from 15th (Vervisch and Audi Sport Team WRT), and 12th (Werner and KÜS Team75 Bernhard).

The session had two red flag periods, the first of which came during Qualifying 2 when Chris Goodwin spun his Garage 59 Aston Martin, and the second during Qualifying 3 for Nick Tandy, who slid the Frikadelli Porsche into the barriers on a damp track.

Changing weather conditions played a large role throughout Qualifying, and while rain never amounted to more than a few drops, heavy wind picked up during the second session, unsettling cars that went back out on track after the retrieval of Goodwin’s Aston Martin.

Black Falcon’s Hubert Haupt, Patrick Assenheimer and Sergei Afanasiev secured Silver Cup pole from 17th overall, while Garage 59’s Goodwin, Alexander West and Come Ledogar will start from Pro-Am pole in 22nd.

Am Cup honors went to Walkenhorst Motorsport’s BMW M6 GT3 shared by Henry Walkenhorst, Gennaro Bonafede and Michael von Rooyen, and the National Class pole was taken by Stradale Motorsport’s Lamborghini Huracan GT3.

The 15-minute Pole Shootout session is scheduled for 4:25 p.m. local time (9:25 a.m. EST / 2:25 p.m. GMT).

RESULTS: Qualifying

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist. He is a graduate of Politics and International Relations.

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