Conquest Racing concluded their 2023 Pirelli GT4 America Championship season at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, securing second place in the Pirelli GT4 America Silver Class championship standings. Michai Stephens and Jesse Webb drove their #34 JMF Motorsports | Farrow Mercedes-AMG GT4 to victory lane as they clinched the final race win of the year and earned the honor of kissing the bricks. Custódio Toledo and Cédric Sbirrazzuoli also challenged in the PRO-AM Class with the #35 Zuri Mercedes-AMG GT4 and wrapped up the season with more Top 10 finishes.
The #34 Mercedes showed off its rapid pace from the start, as Jesse Webb clinched pole position ahead of Race One. The young Canadian took the green flag and maintained the lead for his entire opening stint before handing over the reins to Michai Stephens for the second half of the race. Stephens further established a dominant gap to the rest of the field behind and looked to be in the clear, but an untimely mechanical failure saw his efforts grind to a halt with only four minutes remaining as the car stopped on track.
Nevertheless, the team knew they had the package to be able to challenge for a win, and set out to do exactly that for the concluding race on Sunday. Stephens kicked off the race from 11th on the grid and quickly began to navigate his way through the field and continued to utilize out-of-class traffic to his advantage to propel himself up the overall running.
As Webb took over for the remaining portion, he returned to the track in second position overall, and as the fastest car on track it didn’t take long before he moved up into the lead. The team were handed an impending post-race time penalty for a short pit stop, therefore Webb was tasked with building up a gap to the remaining competitors in the final twenty minutes of the race. As he crossed the finish line for the final time this year, the Conquest Racing outfit had accumulated an astonishing 15-second lead over the rest of the field, clinching the victory at the Brickyard.
“What a way to end off the season at the Brickyard,” exclaimed Jesse Webb. “It’s a dream to finish off the year with a first place overall win and securing second place in the Silver Class championship. We were hoping to challenge for the overall title but our unfortunate ending to the race yesterday prevented that from happening. To be able to come back and clinch the victory in Race Two is the best way we could have ended the weekend. I’m looking forward to what the future holds!”
“To finish the season on a tremendous high is not only a privilege, but an honor,” added Michai Stephens. “It’s certainly a testament to the organization and all the people that have believed in Jesse and I throughout the season. We can’t thank everyone enough for their contributions. Onwards and upwards, bring on 2024!”
Custódio Toledo and Cédric Sbirrazzuoli encountered some early setbacks as they suffered a mechanical issue in Qualifying, resulting in the #35 Zuri Mercedes-AMG GT4 starting from 13th and 14th position in the PRO-AM Class for Race One and Race Two. Troubles continued in the first race as the team fell victim to an overly eager competitor who made contact with the #35 machine and sent it spinning on to the grass. They were able to recover to an eighth place finish in class.