The #87 AKKA-ASP Mercedes (above) of Maurice Ricci, Jean-Luc Beabelique and Gilles Vannelet finished Saturday morning’s Bronze Test at the top of the timing screens. Vannelet posted a time of 1:56.966 right at the end of the session to go faster than the #51 Am Cup Ferrari of Peter Mann, Francsico Guedes and Rino Mastronardi. Ferraris also occupied positions two to four and five to eight, with the #74 ISR Audi getting in among them in fourth.
The later 90-minute free practice session was topped by the #1 WRT Audi of Fred Vervisch and the Vanthoor brothers, with the title-contending #84 HTP Mercedes second. The session was red-flagged twice: once for oil on track left by the #30 Team Parker Bentley and again when Steven Kane went off in the #7 Bentley (below) at the end of the start-finish straight.
The nature of the accident suggested brake failure or a stuck throttle, the car was buried in the tyre wall and an ambulance and extraction crew were despatched to the scene. Kane was reported as conscious and speaking to the team on the radio and after being evaluated in the medical centre, he was taken to a local hospital for precautionary checks due to neck pain.
The extent of the damage to the #7 Continental isn’t yet clear, but the team does have access to a spare chassis if required, however if Kane is declared unfit to race, the #7 will be unable to take part, as Blancpain GT sporting regulations mandate three drivers per car in the Pro Cup.