Black Swan Racing has committed to two of the next three rounds of the Intercontinental GT Challenge, confirming Thursday that it has entered the inaugural California 8 Hours at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, as well as February’s Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour, which will open the 2018 season.
The Tim Pappas-owned squad will run its Porsche 911 GT3 R in both events, with the team/owner driver being joined by Jeroen Bleekemolen and reigning Bathurst Pro-Am class winner David Calvert-Jones in Monterey.
Calvert-Jones and Competition Motorsports, meanwhile, will lend technical support to Black Swan at Bathurst, with the Los Angeles-based Australian set to return to Mount Panorama in his own entry.
Black Swan has yet to confirm the remainder of its lineup for Bathurst beyond Pappas and Bleekemolen.
“When we decided that we wanted to return our focus to international endurance racing, we felt they were the obvious choice between not only the car, but also the support structure in place with Porsche Motorsport,” Pappas said.
“The Intercontinental GT Challenge has already proven to be a tremendous platform, and competing in the inaugural U.S. round is something we didn’t want to miss.
“Thanks to our partnership with David Calvert-Jones the opportunity to compete at Bathurst was also an unbeatable opportunity, and one we should relish in.”
Black Swan is the first customer Porsche team to officially commit to the new SRO-run event on Oct. 13-15, which is expected to draw in excess of 30 entries.
“We are seeing a growing interest in the inaugural Intercontinental GT Challenge in North America, and are pleased that Tim Pappas and Black Swan Racing are the first Porsche Motorsport customer to commit to competing with their 911 GT3 R,” said Owen Hayes, Director of Operations for Porsche Motorsport North America.
“We at PMNA are looking forward to working closely with the experienced team in what promises to be a great event.”
Calvert-Jones, who teamed with Patrick Long, Marc Lieb and Matt Campbell for a runner-up overall finish at Bathurst this year, is looking forward to the opportunity at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
“It’s great to partner with Tim and everyone at Black Swan Racing,” Calvert-Jones said. “The team has one of the best records of success in endurance racing, and I look forward to integrating with them in Monterey.
“Bathurst is of course a race that is very close to my heart, and I look forward to bringing everyone over and showing them just how special an event it really is.”
While entering his Porsche for the two IGTC events, Pappas has reaffirmed plans to contest a full 2018 schedule with his Mercedes-AMG GT3, although with details still to-be-announced.