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Vanthoor Quickest in Red Flag-Shortened Pre-Qualifying

Vanthoor on top again for WRT in Magny-Cours Pre-Qualifying practice…

Photo: Jules Benichou/21 Creation

Dries Vanthoor continued to set the pace at Magny-Cours as the Team WRT Audi driver topped Pre-Qualifying practice for this weekend’s Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Sprint Cup season-opener at the French circuit.

Vanthoor led with a time of 1:35.969 set around 20 minutes into the 80-minute evening session, which was forced to end 10 minutes earlier than planned due to a red flag.

The stoppage was caused by an accident for Emil Frey Racing Lamborghini driver Norbert Siedler at the Nürburgring chicane.

Vanthoor’s leading time in the No. 32 Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo marked an improvement on an early table-topping effort from the Belgian, who is teamed up with Charles Weerts.

However, Vanthoor’s Pre-Qualifying pace fell just short of his fastest lap time of 1:35.849 set in the daylight during Free Practice earlier on Friday.

Second-quickest in Pre-Qualifying was Christopher Haase in the No. 25 Sainteloc Racing Audi, 0.28 seconds off the outright pace.

Jim Pla placed third overall in the No. 87 AKKA-ASP Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo, which led the Silver Cup class for the second session in a row.

Pla set the first laps in the ASP machine before handing it over to Konstantin Tereschenko, who brought the car up to third on a 1:36.344. Pla then returned to the wheel and shaved down his teammate’s number to a 1:36.332 just before the red flags came out.

Silver Cup cars finished third through sixth in the main leaderboard as Chris Froggatt climbed to fourth in the Sky-Tempesta Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020.

The Brit squeezed five-thousandths of a second ahead of Ricardo Feller aboard the No. 114 Emil Frey Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo, with Toksport WRT driver Oscar Tunjo also not far behind.

Luca Stolz submitted a 1:36.443 to end up seventh in Toksport WRT’s Pro-class Mercedes-AMG.

Team WRT’s Ryuichiro Tomita, No. 89 AKKA-ASP driver Jules Gounon and Madpanda Motorsport’s Rik Breukers filled out the rest of the top ten.

Most of the quickest lap times came in the first half-hour of the 9:50 p.m session, with the exception of the figures posted by Tunjo, Froggatt and Pla.

Garage 59’s Jonny Adam was the top driver in Pro-Am, courtesy of a 1:37.353 flyer behind the wheel of the Aston Martin Vantage GT3 that he shares with Alexander West.

In addition to the red flag, a brief Full Course Yellow period was initiated approaching the one-hour mark following an off at Turn 2 for Benjamin Lessennes in the No. 108 CMR Bentley Continental GT3.

RESULTS: Pre-Qualifying

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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