After last year’s successful debut on the Indianapolis track, North America’s round of the globe-trotting GT3 series heads once again to the ‘Brickyard’. And don’t call it the ‘Indianapolis 8 Hours’ – as it actually stands for Indianapolis eight-hour race…
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is known also as “the Brickyard”. It gets its name from a 1909 resurfacing project, when 3.2 million street paving bricks were laid to form the track surface. On the current asphalt circuit, one yard of the historic brickwork is exposed at the start-finish line.
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway will host the Intercontinental GT Challenge championship, together with the North American series: GT World Challenge America. The Indianapolis 8 Hour puts these the two series together in an epic endurance classic on the 14-turn track. Not only that, but this weekend will also host GT4 America Sprint and SprintX as well as the TC America and Skip Barber Formula Series, for a true festival of speed.
The Indianapolis event forms the second round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge: a competition which started with the 24 Hours of Spa at the end of July. The Intercontinental GT series takes in just three rounds this year: after Indy it heads to South Africa for the Kyalami 9 Hour on December 2-4.
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the world’s largest spectator sporting facility, with more than 250,000 permanent seats.
The 2021 Indianapolis 8 Hour has expanded to a 22-car grid: 12 GT3 cars and 10 GT4 entries. But there are more, as the race will also serve as the season finale for the GT World Challenge America. So, in total, more than 40 cars will take the start of the race, with the GT World Challenge America season finale finishing after three hours.
Following their dramatic last gasp victory in the Spa 24 Hours for Iron Lynx, Ferrari crew – and recently crowned GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup champions – Alessandro Pier Guidi, Come Ledogar and Nicklas Nielsen will hope to put one hand on the International GT Challenge crown. They’ll race under the AF Corse brand and will face strong competition from Audi’s overall champions Charles Weerts and Dries Vanthoor, as well as a strengthened home team in K-PAX Racing – which will field no fewer than five Lamborghini factory drivers across its two cars.
The Indianapolis 8 Hour is the most demanding motorsport event of the year for Pirelli North America. Here are a few numbers to put it all in context: six trucks; over 3000 tyres (including both slicks and rain) and almost 30 people from Pirelli. Between them, they drink about 2000 cups of coffee. But there are only two really important facts that you need to remember: there’s live timing from every session on intercontinentalgtchallenge.com/live and you can watch the entire race (and qualifying) for free on the championship’s YouTube channel. See you there!
Francesco Romani, Innovative materials and...