Round 2 of the Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli kicked off on Friday with 75 minutes of practice in preparation for the Indianapolis 8 Hour. At the joint Intercontinental GT Challenge and Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS event, Jules Gounon placed the #99 Mercedes-AMG Team Craft-Bamboo Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 atop the charts.
An already truncated practice session from 90 to 75 minutes due to barrier repairs saw even less action as teams waited out the rain. During a small window when the rain let up, cars did emerge out on track but as the rain returned, most teams elected to call in their drivers while only a handful of cars continued running in the wet.
After the rain receded for a second time, Patric Niederhauser was the first to set a competitive time on the now drying track, lapping the Brickyard in 1m46.079s. The driver of the #25 Audi Sport Team Saintéloc Audi R8 LMS GT3, however, saw his time bested by Mercedes-AMG pilots Maro Engel (#99 Mercedes-AMG Team Craft-Bamboo Racing) and Raffaele Marciello (#89 Mercedes-AMG Team AKKA ASP) before Jules Gounon set the fastest time of the session with a 1m44.245s shortly before the end of the session.
#32 Audi Sport Team WRT Audi R8 LMS GT3 driver Dries Vanthoor squeezed into second place with a 1m44.446s, relegating Marciello to third place (1m44.987s), while Nicklas Nielsen – fresh off being crowned 2021 GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup champion – secured fourth place with a 1m45.091s aboard the #51 AF Corse – Francorchamps Motors Ferrari 488 GT3 shared with fellow GTWC Europe Endurance champions Alessandro Pier Guidi and Côme Ledogar.
Fifth place went to Rob Bell in the #59 Crucial Motorsports McLaren 720S GT3, the Scot setting a 1m45.148s as the fastest of the non-Intercontinental GT Challenge entries. The McLaren team, instead, races solely for GTWC America points.
Over in the GT4 field, Dutch ace Jeroen Bleekemolen flexed his muscles in the #54 Black Swan Racing Porsche Cayman GT4, setting a time of 1m53.680s – 0.796s quicker than the 1m54.476s of John Capestro-DuBets in the #111 Classic BMW M4 GT4.
The Indianapolis 8 Hour continues on Saturday with Pre-Qualifying starting at 8:30 local time (14:30 CEST), Qualifying at 14:00 local (20:00 CEST) and the Pole Shootout at 16:20 local (22:20 CEST).
Please consider making a donation so we can keep bringing you our best content from the racetrack.