- This Weekend's Race Marks the First International Competition and Endurance Race for Hardpoint
INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana - Team Hardpoint makes the young team's first official visit to Indianapolis Motor Speedway and international endurance racing debut this weekend as part of the Audi Sport Team Hardpoint WRT during the inaugural Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli Indianapolis 8 Hour, October 2-4.
The Intercontinental GT philosophy involves local teams fielding entries on behalf of the manufacturer, with Team Hardpoint selected as Audi Sport customer racing's U.S. representative in conjunction with the internationally successful WRT. Team Hardpoint regular Spencer Pumpelly will co-drive the Audi R8 LMS GT3 with Audi Sport drivers Markus Winkelhock and Mirko Bortolotti during the event.
The race takes place on Sunday, October 4 beginning at 10 a.m. ET on the 14-turn road course at Indianapolis. The first two and closing two hours of the race can be seen live on CBS Sports Network, with the entire race streamed live at YouTube.com/GTWorld. The race can also be heard in its entirety on SiriusXM channel 383, or channel 984 on the SiriusXM app.
"This is a true milestone for Team Hardpoint, to be able to enter the endurance racing world in such a big way," Rob Ferriol, team principal, said. "We're excited to not only compete alongside our partners at Audi Sport and WRT, but also combine our collective talents and experience to go for the overall win in the Audi R8 LMS GT3."
The driver line-up for this weekend all have ties together. Winkelhock and Bortolotti comprised two of the drivers in the Audi Sport customer racing team that finished as the runner-up last weekend at the Nürburgring 24 Hours. Pumpelly teamed with Winkelhock at the 2014 24 Hours At Daytona, finishing as the runner-up officially in a controversial ending.
"This is a really exciting opportunity, not just for me," Pumpelly said. "To run with the WRT team, to run with Mirko, and to be reunited with Markus for the first time since 2014 is great. Indy is obviously a historic place and a place where every driver dreams to race and win. For Hardpoint, it's a really good opportunity not only to represent themselves and learn a lot from WRT but to take to the international stage with a foray into something new and prove to the world that we're a top team."
Currently, 13 teams including Audi Sport Team Hardpoint WRT sit on the event entry list. The first Free Practice session begins at 1:40 p.m. ET on Friday, October 2, followed by qualifying at 12:10 p.m. on Saturday and, for those who make it that far, the pole shootout at 5:30 p.m. ET. Sunday's race gets the green flag at 10 a.m. ET in Indianapolis.