The combined expertise of Thomas Erdos and Mike Newton and the glorious power of their Saleen S7-R was enough to give Graham Nash Motorsport top spot during Friday afternoon practice at Estoril although it was the new Ferrari 575 M Maranello that was making the headlines.

Under cooler, more overcast Portuguese skies, Friday's second and final 90-minute free practice session began with morning pacesetters Mike Hezemans, Anthony Kumpen and Philippe Alliot once again heading the charts with a lap of 1:38.164secs.

However, the new Ferrari 575 M Maranello cars were improving, and the nr 9 Philipp Peter/Fabio Babini JMB machine soon took second place with a time of 1:38.851secs, before improving to lead the session with a time of 1:37.745secs, fractionally slower than the Viper's fastest time from the morning.

In the last third of the session though, the meaty Graham Nash nr 7 Saleen S7-R driven by Thomas Erdos and Mike Newton stretched its legs down Estoril's long main straight to take the lead with a time of 1:37.371secs, the fastest time of the day, demoting the nr 9 JMB to second, with the David Sterckx/Andrea Piccini Lister Storm third.

The afternoon session was closer than the morning, with the top five cars setting times within one second - including 5 different types of car - a Saleen S7-R, a Ferrari 575 M, a Lister Storm, a Chrysler Viper and a Ferrari 550 Maranello.

In N-GT, the Tim Sugden/Emmanuel Collard EMKA Racing Porsche dominated the session, with a best time of 1:41.970secs. The Fabrizio de Simone/Andrea Bertolini JMB Racing Ferrari 360 Modena was second, with the Stephane Ortelli/Marc Lieb Freisinger Motorsport Porsche third and the Robert Pergl/Jaroslav Janis MENX Ferrari fourth.



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