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Intercontinental GT Challenge

Estre On Top for KCMG in 24H Spa Night Session

Gradual improvement in conditions leads to Estre setting night practice pace at session’s end…

Photo: Kevin Pecks/SRO

Kevin Estre put KCMG’s No. 47 Porsche 911 GT3 R on top in night practice for the Total 24 Hours of Spa.

Estre, who is teamed with his fellow defending 24H Spa winners Michael Christensen and Richard Lietz, went almost seven-tenths clear of the field with a time of 2:22.370.

The Frenchman’s improvement came right at the end of the 90-minute session which started off in wet conditions before a dry line emerged in the latter stages.

Estre beat Haupt Racing Team’s Maro Engel to the top spot by 0.686 seconds.

It signified the fourth different manufacturer leading a part of the pre-race track action after Lamborghini led Free Practice, BMW paced Pre-Qualifying and Audi scored the best three-driver average time across the individual 15-minute qualifying sessions.

Engel in the No. 4 Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo lapped two-tenths quicker than third-placed Laurens Vanthoor at the wheel of ROWE Racing’s No. 98 Porsche.

A late improvement from Maxime Martin put the 2016 Spa winner fourth in the Pro-Am class No. 188 Garage 59 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 with a time of 2:23.777.

Dorian Boccolacci was fifth for Audi Sport Team Sainteloc and Davide Rigon sixth for Ferrari squad SMP Racing.

Silver Cup was led by Frederik Schandorff, who brought the No. 78 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo up to ninth with a 2:24.589 effort.

Night practice was interrupted by a brief red flag period for Rob Bell pulling the Optimum Motorsport McLaren 720S GT3 to the side of the track in an exposed position.

Track action continues tomorrow with the warm-up at 5:30 p.m. CEST immediately followed by Super Pole to determine the top ten rows of the grid for Saturday’s race start.

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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