Intercontinental GT Challenge Joins Fanatec GT World Challenge America for Endurance Event
Championships to be Decided at the Indy 8 Hour
The Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS is joined on track by SRO’s globe trotting series Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli for the Indianapolis 8 Hour presented by AWS endurance event. The Saturday, October 7 race has competitors run into the night for the longest endurance race hosted at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Often referred to as the Brickyard, Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the third-oldest permanent racing circuit to built in the world. From hosting the largest single-day sporting event – the Indy 500 – to sports car races like the Indy 8 Hour, it’s every drivers’ dream to win at the Speedway.
The SRO race weekend will feature 206 entries across its various support series with no shortage of sports car racing action. An expanded Fan Zone with manufacturer and partner displays, kids activities, and even a Pumpkin Patch wait for fans. Saturday’s Grid Walk and Autograph Sessions get you up-close to the action.
The World’s Best GT Drivers Set to Battle in IGTC
BMW, a past race winner at the inaugural Indy 8 Hour, brings a first-class line-up with Team WRT spearheading its efforts. Team WRT rolls into Indianapolis with a stellar track record, having finished in the Top Ten in two races and taking home a one-two finish at the Kyalami 9 Hour. The No. 30 Team WRT BMW M4 GT3 of Phillip Eng, Dries Vanthoor and Sheldon Van Der Linde pairs with the No. 31 Team WRT BMW M4 GT3 of Augusto Farfus, Charles Weerts and Maxime Martin.
Mercedes-AMG earned an overall victory at last year’s edition and brings back the No. 77 Mercedes-AMG Craft-Bamboo Mercedes-AMG GT3. This year a trio of factory pilots are at the wheel with Maximilian Götz, Jules Guonon and Raffaele Marciello returning to race action with the Intercontinental GT Challenge series. Previously, the team competed in the Bathurst 12-Hour race and finished eighth. This IGTC PRO Class rounds out with the Mercedes-AMG Team Gruppe M Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 entry of Maro Engel, Daniel Juncadella and Luca Stolz. The team has championed all rounds of racing thus far, with a high point at the start of the season, finishing third at the Bathurst 12-Hour.
Winner Takes All in Fanatec GT World Challenge America Pro Class
BimmerWorld walked away winners in the PRO-AM Class in 2022. Bill Auberlen, with Chandler Hull and Robby Foley in the No. 94 BimmerWorld BMW M4 GT3, now take on the challenge of the PRO Class. Ashton Harrison and Mario Farnbacher in the No. 93 Racers Edge Motorsports Acura NSX GT3 also have stepped up to PRO this season. They finished third in the PRO-AM Class in 2022. While it will be Manny Franco’s first run in the Indianapolis 8 Hour, the Conquest Racing team has plenty of experience, having run the PRO Class in 2022 with Alessandro Balzan. The drivers are joined by Lilou Wadoux in the No. 21 Conquest Racing Ferrari 296 GT3.
The Fanatec GT World Challenge America PRO Class has been ultra-competitive all season. While not every entry is fighting for the Driver Points Championship, every entry can fight for the win. Should the No. 45 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R of Jan Heylen, Madison Snow, with the addition of Trent Hindman, continue their winning streak from Sebring International Raceway, they’ll enhance the championship action by taking the 50-point prize off the table. Heylen may be an anchor of Wright Motorsports but he’s also well remembered for his INDYCAR days earlier in his career.
The team atop the championship is the No. 28 RS1 Porsche 911 GT3 R of Eric Filgueiras and Stevan McAleer, who’ve drafted Porsche Pro Klaus Bachler to join them, in an effort to keep the Wright Motorsports team behind them on track to keep all others behind in the championship. With Porsche in a competitive condition the No. 53 MDK Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R of Seth Lucas and Trenton Estep are not to be forgotten or counted out. The team has run a race of attrition and come out for the better multiple times this season and are joined by Porsche favorite Matteo Cairoli. Returning to the series is the No. 85 Rearden Racing Porsche GT3 R with the lineup of Jake Pedersen, Vesko Kozarov and Christian Engelhart.
Pro-Am Championship Up for Grabs
The No. 04 CrowdStrike by Riley Mercedes-AMG GT3 is seeking another class win that would help their championship chase. The entry is piloted by George Kurtz and Colin Braun who are joined by IndyNXT standout Nolan Siegel. Four could be the lucky number to have as there is the No. 4 Grove Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R of Stephen Grove, Brenton Grove and Earl Bamber. Grove placed second at the Joburg Kyalami 9 Hour race back in February.
Derek DeBoer and Valentin Hasse-Clot champion the No. 007 TRG Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT3 with Ben Tuck for the endurance event. Meanwhile, Scott Smithson and Bryan Sellers added Thomas Sargent to their lineup for the No. 08 DXDT Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3. The No. 20 Huber Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 R joins the PRO-AM Class with Antares Au, Laurin Heinrich and Alfred Renaauer. The team finished seventh at the CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa, the Intercontinental GT Challenge round previous to the Indianapolis 8 Hour.
The No. 33 Triarsi Competizione Ferrari 296 GT3 of Justin Wetherill and former INDYCAR driver Ryan Dalziel had a strong showing at Sebring International Raceway, finishing third in Race Two. The addition of driver Onofrio Triarsi could be the edge the team needs to claim the PRO-AM Class win. Samantha Tan and Neil Verhagen in the No. 38 ST Racing BMW M4 GT3 have been the team to beat. They add driver Jake Walker to their lineup as the team looks to continue a dominant run. The TR3 Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 will try to recreate the magic they had at Sonoma Raceway this time with Paul Kiebler, Jon Branam and Matt Bell at the helm.
The No. 120 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R of Adam Adelson and Elliot Skeer will also be an entry to watch as the duo comes off strong finishes and have closed the gap on the championship leaders. They are joined by INDYCAR driver Callum Illot for the race. The No. 91 DXDT Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 will be piloted by Jeff Burton, Corey Lewis and Phillip Ellis. They’ll fight to finish the season on a high note.
Finally, Fanatec GT World Challenge America welcome the No. 535 Sky Tempesta Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 EVO of Jonathan Hui, Christopher Froggat and Edward Cheever III to the grid. The SKY TEMPESTA RACING team is coming off a third-place finish in the CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa. Locals may also recognize the Cheever name as his father raced in Formula 1 and INDYCAR series.
Let’s Go Racing
Tickets are now available and start as low as $20 dollars. Three-day ticket packages are also available for purchase. To follow the race from home, join and subscribe to the free live stream coverage on the GT World YouTube page or enjoy Twitch viewing parties with host Ash Vandelay at SROMotorsports.