The provisional entry list for the inaugural Indianapolis 8 Hour has been revealed one month before the world-famous Brickyard welcomes Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli for the very first time on October 2-4.
After three years spent at another iconic venue, Laguna Seca, North America’s round of the globe-trotting GT3 series switches to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway early next month when international teams and drivers join their GT World Challenge America Powered by AWS counterparts for an event counting towards both championships.
The present total of 22 entries, a mix of GT3s and GT4s, is two more than contested 2019’s California 8 Hours and features seven of Intercontinental’s nine full-season manufacturers. Of those seven only two – Audi and Bentley – currently have less than two representatives.
The latter’s championship leaders Jules Gounon, Jordan Pepper and Maxime Soulet will hope to follow up Bentley’s breakthrough #IntGTC victory at Bathurst with another strong result in America where its local customer team, K-PAX Racing, run the trio’s Continental GT3.
Manufacturers’ Championship leaders, Mercedes-AMG, have the biggest presence thanks to three entries split between GT World Challenge America frontrunners DXDT Racing and Intercontinental GT Challenge stalwarts SunEnergy1 Racing.
Both Walkenhorst BMWs make the trip from Europe, the team’s second M6 shared by Martin Tomczyk, Nick Yelloly and David Pittard confirmed for its first #IntGTC appearance of the campaign, while Honda Racing add further full-season flavour alongside Honda/Acura’s domestic Racers Edge Motorsport squad.
Elsewhere, Porsche – the reigning Manufacturers’ and Drivers’ champions – once again enlist the services of their former California 8 Hours representatives, Wright Motorsports and Black Swan Racing.
There are also two Ferraris, one of which features Squadra Corse’s GT World Challenge America title contenders Martin Fuentes and Rodrigo Baptista. The other, entered by Vital Speed, includes eight-time IndyCar race winner Ryan Briscoe. Both of Maranello’s representatives will be eager to emulate HubAuto Corsa’s California 8 Hours victory from last season.
Audi are yet to name their team or driver line-up but will be keen to return to Victory Lane in America after winning the California 8 Hours in 2017 and ’18.
The rest of the provisional entry features GT4 cars ineligible to score Intercontinental GT Challenge points. Instead, GMG Racing, TRG, CCR Team TFB, Classic BMW, Notlad Racing by RS1, BGB Motorsports and ST Racing will battle for class honours across all eight hours. The category’s nine currently confirmed entries represent a three-fold increase on 2019’s California 8 Hours.
IndyCar Series, Pirelli GT4 America Sprint and SprintX, TC America and Skip Barber Formula Series stage their own races on Friday and Saturday ahead of Sunday’s Indianapolis 8 Hour. GT World Challenge America entries score points towards their own championship after the first three hours before racing on in pursuit of Intercontinental GT Challenge Drivers’ and Manufacturers’ points, as well as overall victory.
Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway
2020 INTERCONTINENTAL GT CHALLENGE POWERED BY PIRELLI CALENDAR
Complete – Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour – Australasia
October 2-4 – Indianapolis 8 Hour – North America
October 22-25 – Total 24 Hours of Spa – Europe
December 10-12 – Kyalami 9 Hour – Africa
Source. SRO Motorsports Group/Photo. Indianapolis Motor Speedway