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Intercontinental GT Challenge

Catsburg Paces Pre-Qualifying Practice in Walkenhorst BMW

Walkenhorst BMW leads dry Pre-Qualifying practice session for 24H Spa…

Photo: Dirk Bogaerts/SRO

Nicky Catsburg went almost half a second clear of the field as the No. 34 Walkenhorst Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 led Pre-Qualifying practice for the Total 24 Hours of Spa.

The entry that won the Indianapolis 8 Hour round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli set the pace in the 60-minute session for this weekend’s IGTC enduro courtesy of a 1:17.445 lap time from Catsburg.

The Dutch driver, who shares the No. 34 Walkenhorst car with Philipp Eng and Augusto Farfus, ended up beating second-placed Felipe Fraga by 0.498 seconds.

This was a larger gap than the difference between the top 11 cars during Free Practice earlier in the day.

Fraga’s No. 88 AKKA-ASP Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo ended up marginally ahead of the No. 78 Silver Cup-class Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo.

A fast 2:18.055 effort from Patrick Kujala brought the Barwell machine right into the mix with the Pro-class front-runners.

Fourth-quickest was Andy Soucek in the No. 9 K-PAX Racing Bentley Continental GT3, ahead of Davide Rigon in the No. 72 SMP Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020.

In sixth and seventh were the No. 55 Audi Sport Team Attempto R8 LMS GT3 Evo and the No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari, while Emil Frey Racing’s No. 163 Lamborghini was eighth.

Pre-Qualifying was interrupted by a single red flag period after Andrea Bertolini’s Pro-Am AF Corse Ferrari slowed before grinding to a halt at the exit of Courbe Paul Frere.

The car’s dangerous position on the outside curb resulted in a stoppage to help the marshals retrieve it.

Next up for the 24 Hours of Spa field is Qualifying, which takes the average time across each car’s drivers and decides who will feature in Friday’s Super Pole shootout.

RESULTS: Pre-Qualifying

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

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