Black Swan Racing is set to make its return to the Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli at the Total 24 Hours of Spa, with additional races, including the Indianapolis 8 Hours also in the works, according to team owner/driver Tim Pappas.
Pappas, who was sidelined following a heavy accident at Bathurst last year, made his top-level endurance racing return in last weekend’s Rolex 24 at Daytona, as part of a planned Michelin Endurance Cup program with its Porsche 911 GT3 R.
That program is now likely to be extended into IGTC competition for at least the Spa and Indianapolis rounds, with the Suzuka 10 Hours also under consideration by the American squad.
The former Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour Pro-Am class winner, however, has likely ruled out a return to the Mt. Panorama, at least in the near future.
“I love the circuit, but familial pressure being what it is; I think everyone in my family would string me up if I tried to go back there,” he told Sportscar365.
“And plus we won it, so I don’t really have anything to prove other than if I wanted to be a full-season competitor in Intercontinental.
“Jeroen [Bleekemolen] and I had an awesome time at Suzuka and Spa and we sort of felt like we had some unfinished business from them.
“So we’ll try to do three of those races this year if we can.”
Pappas said they will likely partner with a European team for the utilization of a Porsche chassis for Spa.
While Jeroen Bleekemolen is set to return to the wheel alongside Pappas, the team’s third driver has not yet been determined.
Marc Miller, who drove for Black Swan in several IGTC events in 2018 as a Bronze-rated driver, has since been upgraded to Silver rating by the FIA.
“We’re kind of scratching our heads,” Pappas said. “We haven’t figured that out yet.
“Some of the guys that I’d like to get like Egidio [Perfetti] or Christian Ried are all pretty busy with their own programs.”
Pappas Feeling “Pretty Good” in Racing Return
Pappas, who sustained multiple fractures to his pelvis and a broken right arm last year’s Bathurst shunt, said he’s feeing “pretty good” after a successful recovery period that took the better part of nine months.
“I was at the Encore and then I went over and did some stuff in Europe, did some testing,” he said. “It’s felt pretty good.
“Physically, I’ve been working out more. I felt rusty at the Roar, but nothing weird, just the typical knocking off the rust of being out of the car for a year.”