No more confirmed registrations for the 8 Hours of Indianapolis
K-PAX Confirms Lamborghini GT3 Double Effort
K-PAX Racing will lead Lamborghini’s Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli at the upcoming 8 Hours of Indianapolis presented by AWS (October 15-17) after confirming a factory-backed two-car participation.
The California team won the Fanatec GT World Challenge America Powered by AWS driver and team titles at Sebring last weekend and remain with the same trusted duo of Jordan Pepper and Andrea Caldarelli for Indy. Another factory ace, Mirko Bortolotti, adds extra firepower to what is sure to be a top entry.
Caldarelli’s American commitments throughout the season with K-PAX and Pepper have caused Lamborghini to rethink its IGTC plans for Indy. As such, Marco Mapelli – who was due to team up with Bortolotti and Caldarelli at FFF Racing in all three IGTC rounds – moves on to a second K-PAX Huracan with fellow Squadra Corse driver Giovanni Venturini and home favorite Corey Lewis .
These driver suits led FFF Racing to skip Indianapolis.
Instead, two more local entries – most likely overseen by TR3 Racing – will top Lamborghini’s four-car IGTC quota.
“We have unfinished business at the eight-hour event in Indianapolis,” said Darren Law, director of the K-PAX racing program. “Last year we had a very fast car and we were leading the race when we were hit by a GT4 car and taken out of the race. We have had a full season with the Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO and we are getting more comfortable every weekend with the set-up and elements needed to get the most out of the car. The competition will be extremely strong and we are looking forward to the challenge.
“Our roster of drivers for this race is as strong as any team participating in this event. We are very proud of the performance we have shown this season and also very grateful for the support and confidence that Lamborghini Squadra Corse has placed in K-PAX Racing. Representing Lamborghini in this race and helping to sustain the effort in the Intercontinental GT Challenge means a lot. “
Pepper also raced with K-PAX at Indy last season when the team oversaw Bentley’s factory entry. The South African is hoping for better luck this time around after an early incident put an end to his chances of victory.
“I have very good memories there with a worse result, so it will be good to get the redemption when I come back,” he said. “I think the team really wants to win this race, and we should rightly be able to compete again this season. What will make this year more interesting is that there will be more cars on the track. compared to last year which should make the fights more intense We should be strong enough with the package we have.
“It’s not as old-school as you might think due to the nature of the infield track which has no camber turns or none of that. But I think the atmosphere at Indy is pretty special – you know exactly where you’re running, which makes it unique and special. There are slight differences in the layout of the tracks this season which will be interesting, especially the first sector. It’s a good fast track and I hope it will make some good races like last year. It’s good that we’ve had a year of racing in America with Lamborghini – the team knows the car well, and from a driving point of view, I know it pretty well. To share the car with Andrea [Caldarelli] and Mirko [Bortolotti] – both of whom have a lot of experience with this car – I think we will be strong.
Crucial Motorsports to debut with newly acquired McLaren
Orland-based Crucial Motorsports will compete in SRO Indianapolis 8H 2021 with McLaren Customer Racing in an ex Compass Racing 720S GT3. The pilots of the program are expected to be Ben Barnicoat, Rob Bell and Paul Holton.
Team co-owner and COO Aaron Nash is excited his team is taking the step to this level of sports car racing. “I’ve been ready to do this for a while now, it took a lot of preparation to get ready for our first event, especially since this is the big ORS event here in the United States. Looking forward to a fun outing with the guys and a competitive performance on Sunday.
Paul Holton is delighted to be back in the GT3 McLaren seat, having been out of the car since the end of the 2020 IMSA GTD season. He is also a team director for Crucial Motorsports. “I am delighted to get back behind the wheel of the 720S GT3, and participating in such a competitive race on our first outing will be a treat. “
Am Class AF Corse Ferrari added
Ferrari’s third nomination for IGTC points comes from the Am class entered by AF Corse 488 GT3 Evo of the American trio Jean-Claude Saada, Conrad Grunewald and Mark Kvamme.
Ferrari is currently behind Audi by 15 points in the constructors’ standings with two rounds remaining: Indianapolis and Kyalami 9 Hours, which will take place December 4-6.
Sainteloc confirms the Audi Squad Silver Cup
Aurélien Panis, Lucas Legeret and Nicolas Baert team up for Sainteloc Racing in what will be the fourth and final car nominated by Audi Sport Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli at the 8 Hours of Indianapolis presented by AWS.
Audi had already confirmed that Sainteloc’s entry into the Silver class would be eligible to score points for the World Manufacturers ‘and Drivers’ Championships in the United States, which will host the second round of the GT3 Globetrotter series next weekend. (October 15-17).
However, Sainteloc has now revealed that his GT World Challenge Europe Sprint Cup regular Panis is reconnecting with Legeret after the Franco-Swiss duo also shared an R8 LMS GT3 at this year’s 24 Hours of Spa TotalEnergies – but without the one of Audi’s IGTC Nominations.
The trio is completed by Baert who drives an Audi in the TCR Europe Touring Car Series. The 20-year-old Belgian finished third in the same championship last season after graduating in the single-seater. Indianapolis marks its first major GT3 outing.
Sainteloc’s Pro entry, with factory stars Christopher Haase, Patric Niederhauser and Markus Winkelhock, includes another quarter of the nominees from Audi Indianapolis IGTC. The other two, both entered by the WRT team, include Dries Vanthoor, Charles Weerts and Christopher Mies, and Mattia Drudi, Robin Frijns and Nico Mueller.
Only the top two entries from each registered manufacturer can score points at Indianapolis, but that could still be enough for Audi to clinch its first IGTC title since 2018. Leaving the brickyard with a 44-point advantage – one more than available to finish first and second – out of IGTC’s other four full-season marks, it would be enough to seal the constructors’ crown ahead of Kyalami’s season finale.
Three AMGs for DXDT
The 2021 Fanatec GT World Challenge America presented by the aws Championship concludes next week at the hallowed ground of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, ending the season with the longest race of the year, the Indianapolis 8 Hours.
Three Mercedes AMG GT3 cars will represent DXDT Racing in the season finale, moving from their roster of two drivers to three as the teams prepare for the endurance test. Scott Smithson, Ben Keating and Thomas Merrill will join the team, completing the rosters for the team’s trio of Mercedes AMG GT3 race cars.
As the final round of the year approaches, DXDT Racing remains in the 2021 Pro / Am Drivers’ Championship. As DXDT Racing competes in the Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli’s Indianapolis 8 Hour, the standings of the The team at the three-hour mark will determine the number of points to be won for the final scoring of the GT World Challenge America. Since each GT World Challenge race weekend is normally made up of two 90-minute races, each participant will receive double points after three hours. DXDT Racing points for the team championship standings will be earned by the highest ranked Mercedes in the team.
Scott Smithson will join David Askew and Ryan Dalziel’s # 63 Mercedes AMG GT3. Smithson raced with the team in 2020, earning three wins and six podiums in TC America, driving a Honda Civic Type-R. This season, Smithson joined the TCR category of the Michelin Pilot Challenge, winning two podiums in five races. With two podiums and six top-five finishes so far this season, Askew and Dalziel will race hard to close the season with a coveted victory.
Returning to race alongside George Kurtz and Colin Braun in the # 04 Mercedes AMG GT3, Ben Keating will return to the squad to defend last year’s victory at the inaugural event. A regular in endurance racing, Keating holds victories at the Twelve Hours of Sebring, a Rolex 24 at Daytona and a three-time winner of the Michelin Endurance Cup. It reinforces an already strong lineup, as Kurtz and Braun hold three podiums and two wins in their five 2021 GT World Challenge America races to date.
Thomas Merrill will complete the endurance rosters for DXDT Racing, joining Erin Vogel and Michael Cooper in the # 19 Mercedes AMG GT3. Currently competing in all four North American Endurance Cup races on the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar calendar, Merrill celebrated an endurance podium this year, finishing first at the Six Hours of the Glen with co-drivers Steven Thomas and Tristian Nunez. Next weekend, he joins Vogel and Cooper, who have just won their third podium of the season at the Sebring International Raceway.
Random vandals add Conor Daly in GT4 BMW
Random Vandals Racing has unveiled Conor Daly as part of its BMW M4 lineup for the Indianapolis 8 Hours next weekend.
The Indy native, who is no stranger to the Road Coarse or the famous Oval, joins Al Carter and Paul Sparta in RVR’s Pro-Am entry.
Conor Daly: “Now that the IndyCar season is over it will be great to get back in a sports car in a few weeks on the IMS road course, which I love,” he said. “The 8 Hours of Indianapolis was a great event last year so I’m happy to be back in the BMW Random Vandals for a really cool event in my hometown that seems to have a lot of momentum.”
Daly’s RVR team manager and co-driver Sparta added, “We are delighted to have Conor back in the car with us. Al Carter, Conor and I have had success in club endurance racing in the past, so it’s a great combination to bring back to that level to race what is becoming a very prestigious event. Likewise, any chance you get to pick up a green flag at IMS is just an honor. I am delighted with my first run here.