> Provisional result: below
Conquest Racing’s Ferrari 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 international entries missed the top-10 cut following an unfortunately timed red flag in Q1.
Cedric Sbirrazzuoli and Alessandro Balzan paced the first and third sessions, and Daniel Mancinelli finished second in Q2, to deliver a comprehensive provisional pole position for the Ferrari squad that also set last night’s Free Practice pace.
Balzan’s 1m22.031s – the fastest time of the weekend thus far – helped the trio record a 1m22.465s average. That was a comfortable half-second faster than K-Pax Racing’s #1 Lamborghini shared by Andrea Caldarelli, Marco Mapelli and Michele Beretta, which in turn beat Winward’s Mercedes-AMG 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 Q1’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.
Dani Juncadella hinted at what might have been by setting Q2’s fastest time, while the pace of Conquest’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 and non-IGTC entries finished fourth. However, the Bimmerworld crew has work to do between now and the Pole Shootout after Bill Auberlen and Miguel Molina clashed at the end of Q3. 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 other 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 15-minute Pole Shootout session begins at 16:55 EDT.