Indiana, Indianapolis - The #34 Conquest Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 topped two of the Indianapolis 8-Hour Presented by AWS’s three qualifying sessions to lead the list of Pole Shootout contenders at the Brickyard earlier today. However, several entries missed the top-10 cut following an unfortunately timed red flag in Qualifying 1.
Conquest Racing’s Cedric Sbirrazzuoli and Alessandro Balzan paced the first and third sessions, and Daniel Mancinelli finished second in Qualifying 2, to deliver a provisional pole position for the Ferrari 488 GT3 squad that also set last night’s Free Practice pace.
Balzan’s 1:22.031 – the fastest time of the weekend thus far – helped the trio record a 1:22.465 average. That was a comfortable half-second faster than K-Pax Racing’s #1 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 shared by Andrea Caldarelli, Marco Mapelli and Michele Beretta, which in turn beat Mercedes-AMG Team Winward Racing’s Mercedes-AMG GT3 by less than a tenth.
However, the order might have looked very different had TR3’s Lamborghini and US RaceTronics’ Mercedes-AMG not come together with approximately seven of Qualifying 1’s 15 minutes remaining. The resulting red flag flew before the likes of Craft-Bamboo and both AF Corse - Francorchamps entries had set times, which consigned them to starting outside of the top-10.
Daniel Juncadella hinted at what might have been by setting Q2’s fastest time, while the pace of Conquest Racing’s Ferrari will give hope to AF Corse’s factory-backed 488s.
Mercedes-AMG’s best chance now rests, initially at least, with Winward’s entry which missed out on Q1 top spot by half-a-tenth.
The best of the Pro-Am entries finished fourth. However, the #94 BimmerWorld BMW M4 GT3 crew has work to do between now and the Pole Shootout after Bill Auberlen and Miguel Molina clashed at the end of Qualifying 3. The BMW appeared to escape serious damage, but the same couldn’t be said for the Ferrari which pulled up with broken right rear suspension.
K-Pax’s sister Lamborghini and Andretti’s Ferrari completed the top-six average times from Turner Motorsport’s BMW and Triarsi’s #23 Ferrari. Acura will also be a pole threat courtesy of Racers Edge, while Ryan Dalziel just made the final 10 in Triarsi’s other Ferrari by pipping Harry Gottsacker in Q3.
The Indianapolis 8-Hour Pole Shootout will begin at 4:55 PM ET.
Catch the highlights from the Indianapolis 8-Hour endurance race on CBS SN on Sunday, October 9th at 12 PM ET for Part 1, and 8:30 PM ET for Part 2.
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Provisional qualifying results below.