SRO, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, 2020

Connor DePhillippi, Nick Catsburg, and Augusto Farfus in the #34 Walkenhorst Motorsport M6 GT3 won the eight-hour Intercontinental GT Challenge Series race run at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, October 4, the day after the completion of the SRO Americas finale at the circuit. Their Walkenhorst teammates David Pittard, Martin Tomczyk, and Nick Yelloly finished second. The M6 GT3s led most of the way in a race that started in the rain and ended in sunshine. They warded off an early challenge from the K-PAX Racing Bentley Continental GT3 that ended when the Bentley was set back in a collision, made the correct call on tires in the early going, and ran the entire race with no mistakes.

The most serious challenge to the BMWs came from the Acura NSX driven by Dane Cameron, Mario Farnbacher, and Renger van der Zande. A difficult pit stop just two hours before the end, when the car got stuck in gear for a time, set it back two laps and, in effect sealed, the win for BMW. The Acura finished third at the end, one lap down. Both Catsburg and Yelloly came to Indianapolis a weekend after winning the Nürburgring 24 in the #99 ROWE Racing M6 GT3 that they shared with Alexander Sims.

Bill Auberlen, James Clay, and Chandler Hull in the #82 BimmerWorld M4 GT4 won the GT4 class. Their car was one of four M4 GT4s that had run at the SRO Americas finale earlier in the weekend. The win came just a day after Clay had clinched the SRO Touring Car championship at Indy in an M240i Racing. Another M4 GT4, the #438 ST Racing M4 GT4 driven by Nick Wittmer, Jon Miller, and Samantha Tan finished second in class in the eight-hour race. The other two M4 GT4s, the #26 Classic BMW car driven by Toby Grahovec, Phil Bloom, and Steven McAleer and the #25 CCR Team TFB car driven by Tim Barber, Cole Ciraulo, and Parker Chase, encountered problems over the course of the race and finished eighth and ninth in class, respectively.

The Indy race was the second of the season for IGTC; the first was run at Bathurst in February. The pandemic has led to rescheduling of both the series’ European race, the 24 Hours of Spa, to October 22–25, and its finale, the Kyalami 9 Hours, to December 10–12. The series’ fifth race, which was to be run on the Suzuka circuit in Japan, has been canceled, leaving IGTC as a four-race series this year.—Brian Morgan

[Photos courtesy SRO America.]

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