> Result: Free Practice
Conquest Racing’s Daniel Mancinelli set the pace during the first official practice session of this year’s Indianapolis 8 Hour Presented by AWS on an evening when less than one second covered the top-13.
The Ferrari he shares with Cedric Sbirrazzuoli and Alessandro Balzan hit the front after five minutes and remained there for the following 85, suggesting that at least some of this year’s favourites spent Free Practice reacclimatising to the Speedway.
The session began as the sun was beginning to set and ended in full darkness, just as the race will when the chequered flag falls at 20:00 on Saturday.
Mancinelli’s 1m22.865s edged Jan Heylen’s early benchmark by 0.107s, but Wright Motorsports’ Porsche held on to finish second from the best of the non-IGTC entries: ST Racing’s BMW.
Fanatec GT World Challenge America’s newly re-crowned champion Andrea Caldarelli made it as many different manufacturers inside the top-four by lapping K-Pax Racing’s Lamborghini 0.245s shy of top spot, while the best of the Mercedes-AMGs – US RaceTronics – rounded out the top-six behind Triarsi Competizione’s non-IGTC Ferrari.
The best of the international entries were next up, AF Corse’s #51 Ferrari driven by Antonio Fuoco edging out the Craft-Bamboo Mercedes-AMG of Raffaele Marciello.
The action kicks up a gear on Friday when Pre-Qualifying, Qualifying and Pole Shootout decide the grid for Saturday’s eight-hour race.