Indianapolis 8 Hour

Mercedes-AMG seals IGTC manufacturers’ championship with Indianapolis 8 Hour victory.

  • Mercedes-AMG Team Craft Bamboo Racing #77 wins Indianapolis 8 Hour
  • Fourth place for title candidate Jules Gounon and Mercedes-AMG Team WINWARD
  • SunEnergy1 Racing by AKKODIS ASP secures podium result and title in Pro-Am class 
  • Early manufacturers’ title win for Mercedes-AMG in Intercontinental GT Challenge


Thanks to an outstanding recovery drive, Daniel Juncadella (ESP), Raffaele Marciello (SUI) and Daniel Morad (CAN) have won the Indianapolis 8 Hour. Following a red flag in qualifying, the trio had only started the race from 15th place on the grid with the #77 Mercedes-AMG GT3 from Mercedes-AMG Team Craft Bamboo Racing. Fourth place by Mercedes-AMG Team WINWARD and a Pro-Am class podium result from SunEnergy1 Racing by AKKODIS ASP rounded out a successful weekend. For Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing, this result not only marked the third overall win in the third season round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli, but also the title in the manufacturers’ standings for the first time.

With the prestigious Indianapolis 8 Hour, the Intercontinental GT Challenge (IGTC) got the second half of its season underway at the weekend. Following the historic triple victory in the Bathurst 12 Hour and the emotional 1-2 in the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa, the Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing Teams again aimed at the best possible result in the third round of the season as well.

At Indianapolis Motor Speedway with its long tradition, eight Mercedes-AMG GT3s represented the performance and sports car brand from Affalterbach. Mercedes-AMG Team Craft Bamboo Racing (#77), SunEnergy1 Racing by AKKODIS ASP (#75), US Racetronics (#6) and Mercedes-AMG Team WINWARD (#33) competed in the IGTC classification, in which Mercedes-AMG already had a commanding lead in the overall, the Pro-Am and the manufacturers’ standings prior to the weekend. At the same time, Cameron Racing (#39), CrowdStrike Racing by Riley Motorsports (#04) and DXDT Racing (#08, #63) competed in the season finale of the Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS at the storied circuit, also known as “brickyard”.

Red flag in qualifying leads to a pole shootout with numerous favourites missing
After the first part of the three-part qualifying on Friday, some teams already saw their hopes of a good starting grid position blown. Multiple drivers hadn’t completed a fast lap yet as a red flag prematurely ended the session. As a result, the #77 Mercedes-AMG Team Craft Bamboo Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 and the #75 SunEnergy1 Racing by AKKODIS ASP car no longer had a chance of participating in the pole shootout of the ten fastest cars.

With Mercedes-AMG Team WINWARD, at least one Performance Team managed to advance into the decisive qualifying segment. Jules Gounon, who had come to the state of Indiana as the leader in the drivers’ standings, got behind the wheel. The Mercedes-AMG driver went out on track anti-cyclically compared to the opposition, made good use of the clear track and secured pole position for his team with a new record lap time of 1m 22.190s at this track configuration.

On Saturday, however, Gounon left it to his teammate Russell Ward (USA) to start the race from first place. Daniel Morad and Mercedes-AMG Team Craft Bamboo Racing started the eight-hour race from 15th place with SunEnergy1 Racing by AKKODIS ASP driver Kenny Habul (AUS) starting behind them.

An action-packed opening stage for Mercedes-AMG Teams WINWARD and Craft Bamboo Racing
In spite of a good response time at the start, Ward wasn’t able to defend his first place in the race in the afternoon for a long time. During his double stint, the American with the #33 car initially even dropped out of the podium position. For Daniel Morad and the #77 GT3, the trend went the opposite way: with a spectacular recovery drive, the Canadian consistently worked his way up through the ranks so that Mercedes-AMG Team Craft Bamboo Racing already was up in ninth place after a few minutes.

After the first pit stops, Morad continued his progress behind the wheel of the #77 car. In fourth place, he increased the pressure on the drivers in front of him. Morad eventually benefited from an error he had provoked in that way to move up into third place. Soon after that, a successful overtaking manoeuvre promoted him to P2 until he handed over the wheel in this promising position to his teammate Daniel Juncadella after three hours. As the race leader had to come in for a drive-through penalty just before the halfway point, the Spanish GT3 stalwart took over the leading position with the #77 Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Mercedes-AMG Team Craft Bamboo Racing. At that time, Jules Gounon ran in third place with the #33 GT3.

Safety car interventions lead to a thrilling duel for the overall win
A safety car intervention soon after that bunched up the entire field again and thus created a thrilling constellation at the front of the field. Only five cars were still on the lead lap, among them the #77 and the #33 cars in first and third place respectively. Juncadella retained the lead after the restart, although he had to defend against repeated attacks from the opposition.

The duel at the front entered its next round as Raffaele Marciello got on board of the #77 car with three hours remaining. Under pressure, Marciello didn’t let his opponents get within striking distance, but neither did he succeed in pulling a decisive gap. Both Performance cars used another safety car intervention after six hours for a pit stop. As a result of the unfortunate timing, Gounon came back on track with the #33 car directly behind the safety car which cost him a full lap as well as third position.

In an overtaking manoeuvre, Raffaele Marciello also initially lost the lead with the #77 car but stayed closely behind the opposition. A thrilling duel for victory unfolded. Over and over again, Marciello got himself in a position to attack. With 90 minutes remaining, he finally managed to make the decisive move.

Subsequently, Marciello brought the narrow victory for Mercedes-AMG Team Craft Bamboo Racing home and also continued his personal streak of success this year by doing so. Because of the safety car interventions, fourth place was the maximum that could be achieved for Mercedes-AMG Team WINWARD. With this result, the battle for the drivers’ championship remains open, but it is certain that the trophy will go to a Mercedes-AMG driver. Daniel Juncadella is leading the standings at 68 points, next up are Jules Gounon at 62 and Raffaele Marciello at 50 points.

A class podium and title celebration for SunEnergy1 Racing in the Pro-Am category
After the overall win at Bathurst and the class podium at Spa-Francorchamps, SunEnergy1 Racing achieved the next excellent result in the Indianapolis 8 Hour. Dominik Baumann (AUT), Kenny Habul and Martin Konrad (AUT) concluded the event in seventh place overall and secured second place in the Pro-Am class with an impressive performance. As a result, the defending champions in this category, Habul and Konrad, can no longer be beaten to yet another Pro-Am title win even prior to the final round of the season at Abu Dhabi.

Mercedes-AMG seals early trophy for the best manufacturer
The results at Indianapolis Motor Speedway also mean the early manufacturers’ championship win for Mercedes-AMG. The customer sport teams having achieved the maximum point-score in the first two rounds of the season, first and fourth place were sufficient to bring the coveted trophy to Affalterbach for the first time in history of the Intercontinental GT Challenge.

2022 Intercontinental GT Challenge will be concluded at the Gulf 12 Hours in December
After starts in Australia, Europe and now also in North America, only one event in Asia remains on the schedule for this year’s Intercontinental GT Challenge. On 10th and 11th December, the 2022 season finale will be held at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, where the battle for the drivers’ championship will be decided. The Gulf 12 Hours as an endurance race for GT cars had their inaugural running in 2012 and are part of the IGTC calendar for the first time this year.

Stefan Wendl, head of Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing: “The third win in the third IGTC race proves once more how reliable the Mercedes-AMG GT3 is over the distance. The manufacturers’ championship is the logical consequence of a historic and unique season. Many thanks, therefore, to all our teams for their relentless effort. Congratulations, moreover, to Mercedes-AMG Team Craft Bamboo Racing on the victory and to SunEnergy1 Racing on the Pro-Am championship win. Now, we are looking forward to the showdown in the battle for the drivers’ title in Abu Dhabi.”

Raffaele Marciello, driver, Mercedes-AMG Team Craft Bamboo Racing #77: “We knew that it was going to be a hard fight. However, the duels on track were great fun. Eventually, I am happy that I still was able to get past and to defend the lead. Daniel Morad has done an incredible job during his triple stint and so has Dani Juncadella after him. I really can’t complain.”

Daniel Juncadella, driver, Mercedes-AMG Team Craft Bamboo Racing #77: “It was a nice race. We did start at the back, but from there, we have shown a strong performance. Daniel Morad had an outstanding drive during his first stint. The pace during my stint was good as well. Then, Raffaele had to give up the lead in an untypical way but claimed it back again. A perfect result after P2 last year. I am very happy.”

Daniel Morad, driver, Mercedes-AMG Team Craft Bamboo Racing #77: “In fact, we didn’t have any major problems over the distance. Because of our bad luck in qualifying, we had something to fight for, of course, but we got through the field really well and we kept calm. The car was ideal for this race and all drivers called on their best performance. I couldn’t be any happier than with this victory.”

Philip Ellis, driver, Mercedes-AMG Team WINWARD #33: “It was a slightly frustrating race. Actually, we wanted to fight for victory with the #77 in the end, but race control got in our way with the safety car. It is annoying that we were so close. But the team has done an impeccable job as ever. The positive thing is that our teammate Jules is still in contention for the championship.”

Dominik Baumann, driver, SunEnergy1 Racing by AKKODIS ASP #75: “We had a good pace throughout the race. Unfortunately, we had the bad luck that our opponents were able to use the safety car for a pit stop. That is how we lost the lead in our class. At the end, I tried everything, but I couldn’t get past anymore. All in all, we are happy. For me, it was the first time here. The track is fantastic.”

Martin Konrad, driver, SunEnergy1 Racing by AKKODIS ASP #75: “We were in a really good position in the race with the #75. Even though we lost the lead due to the safety car, it was a good performance. We have won the Pro-Am championship that we can now celebrate intensely.”

Kenny Habul, driver, SunEnergy1 Racing by AKKODIS ASP #75: “Thanks to Mercedes-AMG and AKKODIS ASP for their support in this race. Last year, we won here, this year, we missed out by only half a second. Therefore, we are slightly disappointed. But we have scored valuable points for the IGTC and that is what matters.”

Result, Indianapolis 8 Hour*:











Mercedes-AMG GT3

Mercedes-AMG Team Craft Bamboo Racing

Daniel Juncadella (ESP)
Raffaele Marciello (SUI)
Daniel Morad (CAN)





Ferrari 488 GT3

AF Corse

Antonio Fuoco (ITA)
Ulysse de Pauw (BEL)
Daniel Serra (BRA)






Turner Motorsport

Michael Dinan (USA)
John Edwards (USA)
Robby Foley (USA)





Mercedes-AMG GT3

Mercedes-AMG Team WINWARD

Philip Ellis (SUI)
Jules Gounon (FRA)
Russell Ward (USA)












Mercedes-AMG GT3

SunEnergy1 Racing by AKKODIS ASP

Dominik Baumann (AUT)
Kenny Habul (AUS)
Martin Konrad (AUT)





Mercedes-AMG GT3

DXDT Racing

David Askew (USA)
Valentin Pierburg (GER)
Scott Smithson (USA)





Mercedes-AMG GT3

CrowdStrike Racing by Riley Motorsports

Colin Braun (USA)
Ben Keating (USA)
George Kurtz (USA)






Mercedes-AMG GT3

DXDT Racing

Patrick Assenheimer (GER)
Dirk Müller (GER)
Bryan Sellers (USA)






Mercedes-AMG GT3

Cameron Racing

Chris Cagnazzi (USA)
Guy Cosmo (USA)
Shane Lewis (USA)






Mercedes-AMG GT3

US Racetronics

Steven Aghakhani (USA)
Loris Spinelli (ITA)
Tristan Vautier (FRA)


* excerpt subject to confirmation by the organiser