INDIANAPOLIS – Indianapolis Motor Speedway will host the North American round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli in 2020 when the facility plays host to the inaugural Indianapolis 8 Hours on Oct. 2-4.
Intercontinental GT Challenge entries will compete against their GT World Challenge America counterparts for the first time after the latter also confirmed the Indianapolis 8 Hours amongst its 2020 dates. As such, full-season Intercontinental GT Challenge manufacturers can nominate their U.S. partner teams to score points towards Intercontinental’s championship.
Next year’s penultimate Intercontinental GT Challenge round will also mark the first time that an SRO Motorsports Group championship has visited Indianapolis. The event replaces the California 8 Hours, which first hosted Intercontinental’s North American leg in 2017 at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
“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,” said J. Douglas Boles, Indianapolis Motor Speedway president. “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 chequered 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.
The campaign begins in Australia at the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour before moving on to Europe and the Total 24 Hours of Spa. That’s followed one month later by the Suzuka 10 Hours in Japan, which precedes Intercontinental GT Challenge’s first visit to Indianapolis. Africa’s round, the Kyalami 9 Hour, closes out the campaign in late November.
“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.
“It was also of utmost importance to align Intercontinental’s US round with GT World Challenge America’s schedule. 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.”