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Pepper Puts Bentley on Top in Silverstone Free Practice

Bentley quickest on home soil in first Endurance Cup practice session of 2019…

Photo: Bentley

Jordan Pepper put Bentley Team M-Sport on top of the pile during practice for this weekend’s Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup round at Silverstone.

The South African turned in a time of 2:00.009 behind the wheel of the No. 107 Bentley Continental GT3 early in the 90-minute session that held out as the quickest overall.

Pepper, who is taking part in his first full Endurance Cup season this year, will share driving duties with Steven Kane and Jules Gounon during the three-hour race.

Andrea Bertolini posted the second-best practice time of 2:00.058 in the Pro-Am class No. 52 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 that the Italian will co-drive with Niek Hommerson and Louis Machiels.

Third fastest was another Pro-Am entry in the form of the No. 97 Oman Racing with TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage GT3 which Charlie Eastwood pedalled to a 2:01.199.

Fourth on the leaderboard was Miguel Molina in the all-Pro SMP Racing Ferrari, ahead of Steijn Schothorst in the Silver Cup-contending No. 55 Attempto Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo.

Free Practice was punctuated by three red flag stoppages, including one for an accident at Copse involving the No. 74 RAM Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 at turn one.

Remon Vos, who was behind the wheel of the British squad’s car when it went off the road, was unhurt in the incident.

The Ram Mercedes ended up with the seventh-best time set prior to the red flag spell, behind the No. 43 Strakka Racing Mercedes and the best of the R-Motorsport Aston Martins.

Defending Endurance Cup champions Luca Stolz, Yelmer Buurman and Maro Engel opened their title defence with the ninth-best time overall for their No. 4 Black Falcon Mercedes.

A second pre-qualifying practice session is set to take place this afternoon at 3:40 p.m. local time (10:40 a.m. eastern).

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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