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09/12/2016 FP3: Top-5 separated by only two tenths

The final free practice session for the Motul Sepang 12 Hours was largely incident-free and showed how close the top cars and drivers really are. After the last two hours of preparation, the fastest five cars were separated by just over two tenths of a second, with Alvaro Parente setting the fastest time in the #9 K-PAX Racing McLaren.

 

Hot and humid conditions, but a dry track, for the second day of the Motul Sepang 12 Hours, final round of the 2017 Intercontinental GT Challenge. Before the drivers tackle the 60-minute qualifying session – followed by a 15-minute shootout – this afternoon, they got the opportunity to complete their final preparations for the Malaysian endurance classic in the third free practice session.

 

For most of the session it was the #911 Manthey Racing Porsche that topped the timing sheets, after Earl Bamber lapped the Sepang International Circuit in 2’03.542. But in the final minute of the session Alvaro Parente – already fastest on the opening day – put the #9 K-PAX Racing McLaren in first, beating Bamber’s time by a mere 0.039. Right behind were both the Audi Sport Team Phoenix cars, with the #50 Spirit of Race Ferrari just three thousands of a second behind the second of the R8’s.

 

In GTC, the #67 GDL Team Racing Asia Lamborghini beat the #26 B-Quik Racing Audi, while the #69 Ayelzo Ecotint Racing Ginetta seems to have recovered fully from yesterday’s woes, to set the fastest time in GT4. The #93 Mazda 3 V8 again beat the #91 Focus V8 in the fraternal MARC duel, with the #65 Viper Niza Racing Seat fastest in TC and the #77 Jim Hunter Motorsport quickest of the Touring Cars.

 

This afternoon sees the qualifying session for the Motul Sepang 12 Hours at 3pm (UTC +8), with the Top-15 shootout starting at 4.30 pm. Both will be streamed live on the Intercontinental GT Challenge and Motul Sepang 12 Hours websites.