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Intercontinental GT Challenge

Conquest Tops Qualifying; Pole Shootout Set Amid Confusion

Red flag takes multiple Pro class cars out of chance of Pole Shootout…

Photo: Fabian Lagunas/SRO

Conquest Racing ended up quickest in qualifying for the Indianapolis 8 Hour presented by AWS, in a drama-filled session that left a number of Pro class contenders out of the Pole Shootout due to a red flag.

The driving trio of Daniel Mancinelli, Cedric Sbirrazzuoli and Alessandro Balzan combined for an average of 1:22.465, outpacing the No. 1 K-PAX Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 by a considerable 0.542 seconds.

Other cars slated to advance to the Pole Shootout are the No. 33 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo, No. 94 BimmerWorld BMW M4 GT3, No. 3 K-PAX Lamborghini, No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW, No. 218 Andretti Autosport x Vital Speed Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo, No. 23 Triarsi Competizione Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020, No. 93 Racers Edge Motorsports Acura NSX GT3 Evo22 and No. 13 Triarsi Ferrari.

Questions stemmed from a red flag in Q1 due to an accident caused by Jeff Burton that collected Tristan Vautier and resulted in a number of Pro class cars, including both AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020s and the No. 77 Craft-Bamboo Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo, not setting a lap time.

All three of the cars, along with the Pro-Am Challenge points-leading No. 75 SunEnergy1 Racing Mercedes, did not make the top-ten as a result due to the clock in Q1 running out while under the red.

Craft-Bamboo’s Raffaele Maricello told SRO pit lane reporter Amanda Busick that only the two quickest times will contribute to the combined result for Pole Shootout, although SRO did not apparently communicate that to teams.

Q3, meanwhile, ended early when the No. 94 BimmerWorld entry of Bill Auberlen and No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari of Miguel Molina made contact, resulting in right-rear wheel damage to the Ferrari.

SRO has yet to make a statement regarding the qualifying situation, which led to confusion in the pit lane from multiple teams.

Pole Shootout gets underway at 4:55 p.m. ET with live coverage on SRO’s GT World YouTube page.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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