K-PAX Racing topped both the Group Test and Free Practice session on the opening day of the inaugural Indianapolis 8 Hour.
Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli championship leaders Jordan Pepper and Jules Gounon – who share the sole Continental GT3 with Maxime Soulet this weekend – set fastest times in the morning and afternoon to emerge as clear favourites for pole tomorrow.
Pepper set his best of 1m23.035s during the 75-minute test, a time that Gounon couldn’t quite match in the subsequent 90-minute practice session. The Frenchman ended up 0.265s down on his co-driver but almost three tenths clear of Vital Speed’s Ferrari driven by Ryan Briscoe.
In fact, the day’s second quickest time overall belonged to Alessandro Balzan who lapped Squadra Corse’s Ferrari just 0.065s shy of Pepper, while the morning session also produced Friday’s fourth best lap courtesy of Wright Motorsport’s Porsche.
The three factory efforts from Europe – Walkenhorst’s BMWs and Team Honda Racing’s NSX – completed the afternoon’s top-five behind Gounon and Westphal following a largely uneventful final hour that saw no changes at the top of the order.
Indeed, the only major move came in the final two minutes when Jan Heylen popped Wright’s 911 into sixth.
Elsewhere, Patrick Gallagher led an incredibly close GT4 class. The Notlad Racing by RS1 Aston Martin finished just half-a-tenth clear of Classic BMW and GMG Racing’s Porsche, while little more than a second covered all 10 entries.
A packed Saturday features Pre-Qualifying in the morning before Q1, Q2 and Q3 determine the 10 cars that will contest the Pole Shootout. Watch every session live on Intercontinental’s website and Facebook page, as well as SRO’s GT World Youtube channel.