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Intercontinental GT Challenge

Marciello Quickest in Opening Kyalami Practice Session

No. 89 Mercedes on top in Free Practice at Kyalami with Marciello at the wheel…

Photo: Anton Wannenburg/Mercedes-AMG

Raffaele Marciello set the benchmark in the opening practice session ahead of the Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli season finale at Kyalami.

Marciello steered the No. 89 AKKA-ASP Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo to a time of 1:42.987 on his tenth lap of the 2.8-mile course to end up quickest overall.

The Swiss driver’s teammate Timur Boguslavskiy initially traded fastest laps with AF Corse Ferrari driver Antonio Fuoco until Marciello became the first and only driver to duck underneath the 1m 42s threshold.

Fuoco’s time of 1:43.179 put the No. 71 Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 in second, however the car stopped on the straight-line run between Barbeque and Sunset in the last five minutes of the session to bring out a red flag. Nicklas Nielsen was driving at the time.

Mikael Grenier went third-quickest with a time of 1:43.342 aboard in the SunEnergy 1 Racing Mercedes-AMG, which is being operated by AKKA-ASP this weekend.

The best of the Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evos was the Audi Sport Team WRT car with Charles Weerts at the helm for a 1:43.681.

Joint IGTC drivers’ championship leader Come Ledogar completed the top five in the other AF Corse Ferrari.

Eleven of the 13 entered cars took part in Free Practice, with the MJR Motorsport Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo and the Scribante Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo from the National class both sitting out the 90-minute session.

Next up is Pre-Qualifying practice, which starts at 10:35 a.m. local time (3:35 a.m. ET) on Friday.

RESULTS: Free Practice

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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