Nick Tandy was the star in the Top 10 Pole Shootout ahead of tomorrow’s Kyalami 9 Hour. The British Porsche works driver bounced back after an off into the barriers during Qualifying, snatching pole for the Frikadelli Racing Team.
His best time in the Shootout was a 1:52.825 with just over a minute to go, in tricky conditions after rain showers during the afternoon. And it was the wet weather which initially caught Tandy out and could have cost the team a shot at pole.
He was put in the #31 Porsche 911 GT3 R for the third of the three Qualifying sessions which decided which cars would make the Top 10 Shootout and had an off into the tyres when the weather was beginning to deteriorate, bringing out a red flag.
“It was their (his teammates Mathieu Jaminet and Dennis Olsen) lap times that got me through on the average to the shootout,” Tandy explained after the Shootout session. “I was lucky to get the car out of the gravel. I got stuck under the barrier, there wasn’t much damage.
“We were on slicks, the rain was coming down hard. The first sector was pretty dry, then I arrived at Turn 7 and that was it, I tried to place it in the barrier as best I could. It’s one of those things. Race day is tomorrow, this is only the beginning.”
Christopher Haase came close to disrupting Tandy’s heroics in the Shootout aboard the #29 Land Audi R8. His best time was just 0.045 off Tandy’s late flyer.
The #999 GruppeM Mercedes will start on the second row of the grid in third. Such a strong qualifying position serves as a reward for the team after Maro Engel’s heavy off in testing yesterday forced the crew (with the help of some locals) to work overtime to get the car fixed by this morning.
Behind two Porsches completed the top five, the #20 Spa 24-winning GPX Racing 911 ahead of the #12 Dinamic Motorsport example, both cars within a second of the pole time.
Outside the top five were the best efforts from BMW, Aston Martin, Honda, and Nissan.
The #42 Schnitzer BMW, which ran fastest in Night Practice yesterday will start sixth, ahead of the quickest of the two R-Motorsport Astons, the #76, that will line up seventh on the grid.
The Honda Pro Racing NSX, which has looked fast all weekend thus far, took eighth, with a time that was a tenth quicker than the #10 SPS Automotive AMG and two tenths up on the #35 KCMG Nissan which topped Qualifying before the shootout that completed the top 10.
There were a few notable entries which failed to make it into the Shootout. Neither M-Sport Bentley made the cut, the #107 and #108 had to settle for 13th and 14th on the grid respectively.
Team 75 Bernhard’s Porsche, WRT’s #25 Audi and the #44 Pro class Strakka Racing Mercedes also didn’t make it in. They will start 12th, 15th, and 20th respectively.
In the other classes, the #6 Black Falcon Mercedes will start from Pole in Silver, Garage 59 took the Pro-Am honours, Walkenhorst’s #34 BMW went fastest in Am and the Stradale Lamborghini beat Pablo Clark’s Ferrari to the pole in the National category.
The 2019 IGTC finale, the Kyalami 9 Hour, is set to begin at 13:00 local time and can be streamed on the IGTC website.
Featured image courtesy of Porsche Motorsport