Jules Gounon, Team Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG Claim Dramatic Pole Position at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Jules Gounon, Team Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG Claim Dramatic Pole Position at Indianapolis Motor Speedway
  • Jules Gounon sets a late record lap around the Brickyard, putting the Mercedes-AMG in first place for the 8-Hour race
  • Three Pro-Am teams and a Silver Cup entry make it to the Pole Shootout
  • Mercedes-AMG, Ferrari, Lamborghini, BMW and Acura all had a shot at pole position
  • Provisional Results

Indianapolis, Indiana - As temperatures began to drop down at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the ten fastest GT3 cars took over the Brickyard for a 15-minute shootout in the hopes of clinching pole position on the Indianapolis 8 Hour presented by AWS starting grid. 

Jordan Pepper went quickest at the beginning of the session in his #3 K-PAX Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3, but his fast lap was not quite speedy enough to be able to cling on to pole position. Conquest Racing’s Allesandro Balzan then took over the top of the charts in his Ferrari 488 GT3 with 10 minutes remaining on the clock. 

However, Frenchman Jules Gounon in the #33 Mercedes-AMG Team Winward Racing  Mercedes-AMG GT3 launched a late attempt and won his gamble as he laid down an impressive time of 1:22.190 with a few minutes to spare in the session. At that point, Gounon had the advantage of being alone on track, as all other competitors elected to set their fast laps earlier. 

“We just wanted to maximize the performance of the car,” explained Jules Gounon on pit lane after the session. “Warming up the brakes to a maximal temperature and extracting the maximum of the car on the new tires were part of that strategy. I want to thank Winward Racing for preparing such a great car. The 8-Hour is a long race, but it’s a good feeling to be in pole position at Indianapolis.” 

Of the ten cars on the track, six pole position contenders were Pro cars, followed by three from the Pro-Am class and one from the Silver Cup class. Coming in second place was Alessandro Balzan in his #34 Conquest Racing Ferrari 488 GT3. The Pro team has been on a roll after setting the fastest lap time during the Free Practice session. 

The Pro-Am #23 Triarsi Competizione Ferrari 488 GT3 driven by Alessio Rovero claimed the third spot on the starting grid, and will be starting alongside the Pro #3 K-PAX Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 of Jordan Pepper. 

K-PAX Racing’s sister car, the #1 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 of Andrea Caldarelli, will be rolling from the fifth spot on the grid, with Pro driver Robby Foley in the #96 Turner Motorsport BMW M4 GT3 starting alongside them. 

Mario Farnbacher put in a competitive lap time of 1:22.721 in his #93 Racers Edge Motorsports Acura NSX GT3, just 0.128 off Foley. Scottish Pro-Am driver Ryan Dalziel almost had the seventh spot but missed it by a mere 0.007. 

Pro driver Jeff Westphal set the ninth fastest lap time in the #218 Andretti Autosport x Vital Speed Ferrari 488 GT3, leaving Nick Wittmer in the #38 ST Racing BMW M4 GT3, Silver Cup’s lone entry, in tenth place.

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