> Result: Pre-Qualifying
US RaceTronics’ Mercedes-AMG driven by Loris Spinelli headed a top-19 covered by less than a second in Pre-Qualifying for the Indianapolis 8 Hour Presented by AWS at IMS this morning.
Chilly but bright conditions prevailed throughout a 90-minute session that was predominantly headed by Turner Motorsport’s BMW. Rob Foley replaced Mario Farnbacher at the top after five minutes and remained there until two late laps saw the IGTC-nominated Mercedes-AMG end the final running before Qualifying on top.
Spinelli initially posted a 1m22.416s before immediately following it up with a 1m22.377s. The latter helped extend US RaceTronics’ advantage over Foley to 0.145s, while Franck Perera’s early lap remained fast enough to see K-Pax Racing finish third.
So close was the top-19 that each of the remaining fastest times were only incrementally slower than the Lamborghini’s.
SunEnergy1 set the Pro-Am pace thanks to Dominik Baumann who pipped another Mercedes-AMG team, Winward Racing, to fourth fastest time.
Ferrari’s two leading international hopes, both entered by AF Corse – Francorchamps, finished seventh and eighth behind Farnbacher’s Racer’s Edge Acura, while Triarsi’s #13 488 and Craft-Bamboo’s Mercedes-AMG completed the top-10.
Three red flags punctuated the session, although none were for especially serious incidents. Charlie Luck spun Wright Motorsport’s Porsche into the gravel, Samantha Tan became stranded after looping her ST Racing BMW, and Ryan Briscoe’s Andretti/Vital Speed Ferrari stopped at pit out with less than 10 minutes remaining.
Three 15-minute qualifying sessions will now decide the 10 fastest cars that will progress to this evening’s Pole Shootout. Watch all of the action live on SRO’s GT World YouTube channel.