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Intercontinental GT Challenge

Marciello Puts AKKA-ASP Merc on Top in Pre-Qualifying

Marciello quickest as AKKA-ASP in delayed rollout of team’s Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo…

Photo: Brian Cleary/SRO

Team AKKA-ASP’s Raffaele Marciello topped the time charts in Pre-Qualifying practice for Sunday’s Indianapolis 8 Hour presented by AWS, in a car that only arrived at the circuit this morning.

The Mercedes-AMG factory driver reeled off a best lap of 1:34.054 in the French squad’s No. 89 Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo.

It arrived at Indianapolis Motor Speedway at 5:25 a.m. ET after delays at the Port of Norfolk in Virginia that led to a 730-mile overnight truck drive to The Brickyard ahead of the 8:30 a.m. session start. 

Marciello set his quick time with 45 minutes remaining in the 90-minute session.

It was 0.178 seconds quicker than the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 of defending race winner Connor De Phillippi, with Ollie Millroy third overall and quickest of the Pro-Am entries in the No. 70 Inception Racing McLaren 720S GT3.

The No. 23 Team WRT Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo of Robin Frijns was fourth ahead of Friday’s pace-setting No. 99 Craft-Bamboo Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo in fifth and a late improvement by the No. 10 TR3 Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo of Giacomo Altoe to go sixth quickest.

Newly crowned Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS champion Jordan Pepper put the No. 3 K-PAX Racing Lamborghini the seventh quickest ahead of the Nos. 32 and 25 Audis from WRT and Sainteloc Racing, respectively. 

The No. 75 SunEnergy1 Racing Mercedes, meanwhile, completed the top-ten overall. 

GT4 was paced by the No. 68 Smooge Racing Toyota GR Supra GT4 of Jack Hawksworth, thanks to a 1:43.285 lap time by the Lexus factory driver making his class debut.

The session saw three red flags, the first for the No. 66 TRG Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport of Andy Lally, which stopped at pit-in.

It was followed by an incident between the No. 59 Crucial Motorsports McLaren 720S GT3 of Ben Barnicoat and Jean-Claude Saada’s No. 61 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 that resulted in Saada beached in the gravel and Barnicoat given a drive-through penalty for incident responsibility. 

The No. 63 DXDT Racing Mercedes of David Askew, meanwhile, came to a stop on track with six minutes remaining that led to a resumption of track action with only three minutes on the clock.

Qualifying is scheduled to get underway at 2 p.m. ET followed by Pole Shootout at 4:20 p.m. local time.

RESULTS: Pre-Qualifying

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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