Surprise pole for Honda at Kyalami 9-Hour

Surprise pole sitter, the Motul Honda NSX GT3 of Mario Farnbacher, Bertrand Baguette and Renger van der Zande. Picture: Dave Ledbitter.

Intercontinental GT Challenge season decider promises to be a thriller.

Tomorrow’s Kyalami 9-Hour is poised to determine the overall Drivers’ and Manufacturers’ titles of the 2020 Intercontinental GT Challenge, could be a tightly-fought affair. That conclusion could be reached after today’s official qualifying sessions at the Midrand circuit. After the sessions, that involved all three drivers in every car, the average lap times of the top nine teams on the grid were covered by a second.

Starting from pole position on the grid at 11 am tomorrow will be the Motul Honda NSX GT3 of German Mario Farnbacher, Belgian Bertrand Baguette and Renger van der Zande from the Netherlands. They will share the front row of the grid with the Bentley Continental GT3 of South African Jordan Pepper, France’s Jules Gounon and Belgium’s Maxime Soulet.

South African Jordan Pepper, France’s Jules Gounon and Belgium’s Maxime Soulet will complete the front row of the grid in their Bentley Continental GT3. Picture: Dave Ledbitter.

Third will be South Africa’s Sheldon van der Linde (Walkenhorst BMW M6 GT3), sharing the car with the Netherland’s Nicky Catsburg and Brazil’s Augusto Farfus. Fourth will be the Audi R8 LMS GT3 R of Mattia Drudi (Italy), Patrick Niederhauser (Germany) and Christopher Haase (Germany).

Filling the third row of the grid in the fifth and sixth starting places will be the GPX Porsche 911 GT3 of Matt Campbell (Australia), Patrick Pilet (France) and Mathieu Jaminet (France), plus the Walkenhorst BMW M6 GT3 of Martin Tomczyk (Germany), David Pittard (Britain) and Nicholas Yelloly (Britain).

Starting third will be South African Sheldon van der Linde, the Netherland’s Nicky Catsburg and Brazil’s Augusto Farfus, in their Walkenhorst BMW M6 GT3. Picture: Dave Ledbitter.

Last year, the last two hours of the race were run in monsoon-like conditions, and today’s weather predictions point to more of the same. All of which could have a large influence in the respective fights for the years’ Drivers’  and Manufacturers’  titles.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, no spectators will be allowed at the event. However, the whole nine hours of the race, plus driver interviews afterwards, will be shown on DSTV, or you could visit the www.intercontinentalgtchallenge.com/watch-live website free of charge.

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