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Indy 8H Set for 23-Car Grid; Numerous Driver Additions

Indianapolis 8 Hour grid grows to 23-car field; notable drivers, teams added to IGTC round…

Photo: Chris Green

This weekend’s Indianapolis 8 Hour has expanded to a 23-car grid following the release of the latest entry list for the Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli round.

A total of 13 GT3 cars and ten GT4 entries are set for IGTC’s inaugural visit to Indianapolis Motor Speedway, in a race that will also serve as the season finale for GT World Challenge America powered by AWS competitors.

While Black Swan Racing has withdrawn its Porsche 911 GT3 R, an additional Racers Edge Motorsports Acura NSX GT3 Evo has joined with drivers Kyle Marcelli and Ziad Ghandour. It is the only GTWC America entry that’s not currently slated to contest the full eight-hour race length and will instead race the opening three hours for series points.

The remaining 12 GT3 entries are all nominated to score IGTC manufacturer points, which is currently led by Mercedes-AMG following February’s season-opening Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour.

Richard Heistand and Ben Keating have been added as third drivers in DXDT Racing’s two Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evos, which will compete for Pro-Am class honors, while Jan Heylen will return to the No. 20 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R, in what is currently the race’s lone Silver class entry.

The No. 93 Racers Edge Acura of Trent Hindman and Shelby Blackstock, which has competed in GTWC America this season in the Silver class, has been moved to the pro class this weekend with the addition of open-wheel rising star Robert Megennis as its third driver.

BMW factory driver Connor De Philippi, meanwhile, completes the lineup in the No. 34 Walkenhorst Motorsport BMW M6 GT3, which is only one of four full-season IGTC teams entered for the U.S. leg of the championship.

As previously announced, Team Hardpoint WRT will field the lone Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo in the race for Markus Winkelhock, Mirko Bortolotti and Spencer Pumpelly.

GT4 America Entrants Strengthen Grid

The GT4 class has seen several changes since the initial release of the entry list, including the addition of Pirelli GT4 America competitors Motorsport USA (McLaren 570S GT4), BimmerWorld and ST Racing (both BMW M4 GT4).

Newly crowned GT4 America Sprint champion Michael Cooper will join Dan Rogers and Michael McAleenan in the McLaren with Bill Auberlen, James Clay and Chandler Hull in the BimmerWorld entry alongside Samantha Tan, Jon Miller and Nick Wittmer in ST’s BMW GT4 entry.

The No. 17 TRG Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport will see the return of Andy Lally to the Kevin Buckler-led team due to Pumpelly being confirmed in Hardpoint WRT’s GT3 lineup.

Other additions include Robin Liddell in the No. 2 GMG Racing Porsche GT4 and GMG electing to run an Audi R8 LMS GT4 for Elias Sabo, Andy Lee and team principal James Sofronas after initially declaring the entry as a Porsche.

There will be no GT Sports Club America entries on the grid for the race, despite what Sportscar365 understands had been initially considered for the first 40 minutes of the race to serve as its season finale.

On-track action kicks off on Thursday with a Bronze test session followed by paid and free practice on Friday.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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