Indianapolis Motor Speedway will stage North America’s round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli in 2020 with the inaugural Indianapolis 8 Hours on October 2-4. The event replaces the California 8 Hours at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, which has hosted Intercontinental’s North American leg the past three years.
“I am thrilled to reveal the inaugural Indianapolis 8 Hours will become North America’s sole Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli round in 2020,” said Stephane Ratel, SRO Motorsports Group founder and CEO. “The championship is known for visiting historical events and iconic circuits, and with Indianapolis we are undoubtedly dealing with the latter. IMS is one of the world’s most famous motorsport venues but also one defined by a particular event. Given time, I am confident the Indianapolis 8 Hours will become an iconic race in its own right.”
Intercontinental GT Challenge entries will compete against their GT World Challenge America counterparts for the first time at the Indianapolis 8 Hours. International series manufacturers can nominate their U.S. partner teams to score points toward Intercontinental’s championship.
“It was of utmost importance to align Intercontinental’s U.S. round with GT World Challenge America’s schedule,” Ratel continued. “Both championships have enjoyed significant growth this year and we are confident their collaboration at Indianapolis next October will see this trend continue. America deserves a standalone long-distance GT race and I strongly believe the Indianapolis 8 Hours has the right ingredients to achieve this.
“Finally, I would like to thank our friends and partners at Laguna Seca for their hard work and commitment to the California 8 Hours over the last three years. The race has made a significant contribution to establishing Intercontinental GT Challenge as the world’s only global GT3 championship.”
IMS President Doug Boles said: “Our loyal fans will love the ultra-competitive action of the Intercontinental GT Challenge and GT World Challenge America when it comes to IMS in October 2020. The global endurance format featuring the world’s best GT drivers and teams guarantees fast and furious action from the start all the way to the checkered flag. Plus, there’s an incredible array of machinery on track from so many prestige manufacturers – it’s a car enthusiast’s dream weekend.”
The rest of next season’s Intercontinental GT Challenge calendar remains unchanged with all four existing rounds scheduled for the same weekends as in 2019, beginning with the Bathurst 12 Hour in late January and concluding at Kyalami, South Africa in late November.
2020 INTERCONTINENTAL GT CHALLENGE
Jan 31-Feb 2: Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour, Australia
Jul 23-26: Total 24 Hours of Spa, Belgium
Aug 21-23: Suzuka 10 Hours, Japan
Oct 2-4: Indianapolis 8 Hours
Nov 20-22: Kyalami 9 Hour, South Africa