Strong Start for Porsche 911 Dakar in First Practice Session

    In the opening practice session of the Dakar Rally, Mia Flewitt and Euan Hankey topped the timesheets in their Porsche 911 Dakar, setting the pace before a prolonged red flag period halted the session. Meanwhile, in the GT4 category, championship contenders Steller Motorsport, with Sennan Fielding and Richard Williams at the wheel, led the early times in mixed conditions.

    The session began with wet and greasy track conditions following heavy overnight rainfall in the Kent countryside. The cloud cover hung low over the back half of the circuit, keeping that section wet, while the Indy Circuit was drying out. Despite the challenging weather, the Porsche 911 Dakar of Flewitt and Hankey managed to top the timesheets, although their fastest time was over a second off the pace of last year’s qualifying record.

    “The red flags were deployed 20 minutes into the session after an incident involving the #15 Ram Racing Mercedes AMG GT3 and the #7 Motus One Racing Mercedes GT4. The GT3 Mercedes attempted an outside pass on the GT4 car, but clipped it and sent both cars into the barrier at Hawthorne Bend. Both cars sustained significant chassis damage and had to be retired from the weekend.”

    When the session resumed with just 10 minutes remaining, there were only minimal improvements from the remaining cars. The #6 Ram Racing Mercedes finished second, followed by the Enduro Motorsport McLaren of Morgan Tillbrook and Marcus Clutton in third. Nick Halstead and Jamie Stanley in the Fox Motorsport entry were fourth, while Stuart and Lewis Proctor rounded out the top five in GT3.

    In the highly competitive GT4 class, Steller Motorsport led the way, with the top 10 cars separated by just 0.7 seconds. Josh Miller set the early pace in the R Racing Aston Martin, before the Academy Motorsport Mustang took the top spot. Sennan Fielding then put the Steller Motorsport car at the front, trading times with Matt Cowley until the red flags.

    At the restart, Mark Radcliffe launched an attack to claim second place for the Valluga Racing Porsche Cayman and first in the Pro-Am category. A late surge from Seb Hopkins put the Team Parker Racing Porsche Cayman into third, demoting the Academy Mustang to fourth. Jordan Collard and Tom Edgar rounded out the top five in the Toyota Gazoo Racing UK GR Supra.

    With limited running time, the times were exceptionally close in the GT4 class, showcasing the depth of talent and competitiveness within the Dakar Rally’s GT category. The Porsche 911 Dakar of Flewitt and Hankey has made a strong start to the weekend, and fans can expect an exciting battle to unfold as the Dakar Rally continues.

    ๐Ÿ”— Source