SRO Motorsports Group has released a provisional entry list for the inaugural Indianapolis 8 Hour, one month before the Indianapolis Motor Speedway welcomes Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli for the first time on October 2-4.
After three years at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, North America’s round of the globe-trotting GT3 series switches to IMS next month, where international teams and drivers will join their GT World Challenge America Powered by AWS counterparts for an event counting towards both championships.
The present total of 22 entries includes a mix of GT3s and GT4s — two more than contested 2019’s California 8 Hours — features seven of the Intercontinental series’ 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 Intercontinental GT Challenge victory at Bathurst (pictured above) with another strong result in America, where its local customer team K-PAX Racing runs the trio’s Continental GT3.
Manufacturers’ championship leader Mercedes-AMG has the biggest presence thanks to three entries split between GT World Challenge America front-runners DXDT Racing and Intercontinental GT Challenge stalwarts SunEnergy1 Racing.
Both Walkenhorst BMWs will make the trip from Europe, the team’s second M6 set to be shared by Martin Tomczyk, Nick Yelloly and David Pittard confirmed for its first Intercontinental GT Challenge appearance, while Honda Racing adds further full-season flavor alongside domestic team Racers Edge Motorsport.
Porsche – the reigning manufacturers’ and drivers’ champions – once again enlists the services of Wright Motorsports and Black Swan Racing, which represented the marque in the California 8 Hours.
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 former IndyCar racer Ryan Briscoe. Both of Maranello’s representatives will be eager to emulate HubAuto Corsa’s California 8 Hours victory from last season.
Audi has yet to name its 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 honors across all eight hours. The category’s nine currently confirmed entries represent a three-fold increase on 2019’s California 8 Hours.
The NTT 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.