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WRT Audi Tops Nürburgring Practice as Bentley Crashes

Kane crashes heavily with Bentley No. 7 at Nürburgring…

Photo: Arne Simons

Photo: Arne Simons

The No. 1 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi R8 LMS of Dries Vanthoor was quickest in Free Practice for Sunday’s Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup finale at Nürburgring, as a big crash of the No. 7 Bentley Continental GT3 brought the session to an early halt.

Steven Kane was behind the wheel of the Bentley Team M-Sport entry when it went straight into the barriers at Turn 1. The car disappeared under the tire barriers and the extraction team had to be called on scene.

There is no official news yet on Kane’s condition, who was transported to the medical center, although he was talking to the team over the radio after the crash.

The incident was most likely caused by a mechanical failure.

With 13 minutes still on the clock, the session was not restarted.

A 1:55.741 lap time posted by the Belgian No. 1 Audi was 0.396s clear of the No. 84 AMG-Team HTP Mercedes-AMG GT3 of title contenders Maxi Buhk, Dominik Baumann and Jazeman Jaafar.

Audi was the clear early pacesetter claiming four of the top five positions, with the No. 75 ISR Audi in third, the No. 26 Saintéloc Audi in fourth and No. 3 WRT entry in fifth.

Nicolas Armindo put the Attempto Racing Porsche on top in Pro-Am with the sixth time overall, followed by the No. 8 Bentley in P7.

The title-contending No. 98 ROWE Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 was more than two seconds off the pace in P34, but still managed to stay in front of the championship leading No. 58 Garage 59 that only ended up 37th (+2.223s).

The session was also interrupted with a red flag for more than 20 minutes, as the No. 30 Team Parker Racing Bentley laid oil down on almost the entire track.

Earlier this morning, the No. 87 AKKA ASP Mercedes of Gilles Vannelet was quickest in the Bronze test, posting a lap time of 1:56.966.

Pre Qualifying gets underway at 4:15 p.m. local time.

RESULTS: Free Practice

Vincent Wouters (@VinceWouters) is a Belgium-based sports car racing reporter, providing coverage primarily of the Blancpain GT Series.

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