As they did in Friday's opening practice session, Force One Festina trio Mike Hezemans, Anthony Kumpen and Philippe Alliot set the fastest time around a sun drenched Estoril in Saturday's first qualifying session in the singleton Festina Chrysler Viper present this weekend.

The Franco-Dutch trio ended the session a full four tenths of a second clear of their nearest rivals despite the age gap between their Viper and the newer Ferrari's and Saleen's with a quick time of 1min 36.222secs.

Luca Capellari and Fabrizio Gollin were second quickest in their BMS Scuderia Italia Ferrari 550 with a best time of 1min 36.661secs, just edging out Saleen trio Franz Konrad, Walter Lechner Jr and Toni Seiler.

However it was the cars in fourth and fifth places on the provisional grid, which had the most tongues wagging as the two JMB Racing Ferrari 575 Maranello's both lapped within seven tenths of a second of the polesitting Viper with Boris Derichebourg and Christian Pescatori heading Philipp Peter and Fabio Babini.

Laden with ballast perhaps, but Championship leaders Thomas Biagi and Matteo Bobbi were still very disappointed with sixth fastest time, 1:36.932secs, aboard their BMS 550 while there were similar feelings in the Graham Nash camp after Friday afternoon practice leaders Thomas Erdos and Mike Newton fell to seventh fastest while Miguel Ramos, Ni Amorim and Antonio Coimbra had their times disallowed.

In N-GT Andrea Bertolini and Fabrizio de Simone were fastest by more than half a second in their JMB Ferrari 360 Modena ahead of the leading Team Maranello Concessionaires 360 of Jamie Davies and Darren Turner and the EMKA Racing Porsche.

Freisinger duo Marc Lieb and Stephane Ortelli were surprisingly off the pace, finishing the session only fifth in class, nearly 1.5secs slower than the quickest Ferrari.



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