Thirty cars have been nominated across five manufacturers to score overall points for the Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli at the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa.
Entries from Audi, Mercedes-AMG, Lamborghini, Porsche and Ferrari are on the IGTC entry list which constitutes half the full grid for this weekend’s 2021 season-opener.
Each manufacturer is represented by the full allowance of six nominated cars, while three have met the limit of four Pro-category entries.
The IGTC is starting at the 24 Hours of Spa for the first time after the cancelation of the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour, which was due to open the season in February.
The more recent cancelation of the Suzuka 10 Hours prompted SRO Motorsports Group to arrange a three-round 2021 campaign that will start at Spa before going on to the Indianapolis 8 Hour in October and the Kyalami 9 Hour in December.
Ferrari is a new addition to this year’s IGTC grid, while the other four manufacturers were previously announced.
Iron Lynx will lead the contingent of IGTC-eligible Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020s, courtesy of its two-car factory-supported program that races full-time in the Pro class of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Endurance Cup.
Sportscar365 understands that Ferrari’s Pro-level involvement in IGTC after Spa will depend on how its lead cars fare this weekend.
The other Ferrari nominees are the AF Corse No. 52 and No. 53 Pro-Am vehicles, plus fellow Pro-Am competitor Sky-Tempesta Racing and Silver Cup entrant Rinaldi Racing.
Audi, Mercedes-AMG and defending IGTC manufacturers’ champion Porsche have all elected to start the 2021 season with the allowed maximum of four Pro machines.
For Audi, that involves all of the factory-supported Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evos that will contest Spa in special liveries, plus the Silver Cup cars from Team WRT.
Mercedes-AMG’s cause is led in the top division by Haupt Racing Team, HubAuto Racing and AKKA-ASP, which has two cars. Winward Racing and Toksport WRT complete the Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo group in Silver Cup.
GPX Martini Racing, Dinamic Motorsport, KCMG and last-minute Frikadelli replacement Schnabl Engineering are operating the Pro-class, IGTC-scoring Porsche 911 GT3 Rs.
Porsche has selected Herberth Motorsport from Pro-Am and Huber Motorsport from Am Cup to complete its roster.
Orange 1 FFF Racing Team and Emil Frey Racing’s No. 163 entry, both of which feature all-factory driving crews, are representing Lamborghini at Spa.
Silver cars from Emil Frey and Grasser Racing Team, and Pro-Am runners from FFF and defending class winner Barwell Motorsport, are also fielding Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evos with IGTC points-paying status.
The top ten cars in the IGTC field at the end of the 24-hour race will score points according to a 25-18-15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1 scale.
Manufacturers are limited to having only their top three cars collect points if more than three finish inside the top 10. Any points-paying cars that cannot score for this reason will still accumulate drivers’ championship points.
Porsche has won the IGTC title the last two years, while BMW’s Augusto Farfus and Nicky Catsburg are the reigning drivers’ champions, however both are absent from Spa.
In addition to the outright IGTC manufacturers’ and drivers’ championship entries, the EBM Giga Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R and the Inception Racing McLaren 720S GT3 will go up against each other in the Intercontinental GT Pro-Am Challenge class.
Several of the cars competing in the IGTC are also vying for points in the GTWC Europe Endurance Cup, which is staging its third round of the season this weekend.