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Indianapolis 8 Hour: Your Guide to GT Endurance Racing

SRO, the world leader in GT-based sportscar racing, brings its world-renowned Intercontinental GT Challenge (IntGTC) to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the second round of the globe-trotting championship with the Indianapolis 8 Hour on Sunday, Oct. 4.

IntGTC races on four different continents in 2020 at some of the most famous and high-profile endurance racing events for GT machinery – the Bathurst 12 Hours, 24 Hours of Spa, Kyalami 9 Hours and now the Indianapolis 8 Hour.

First let’s start with GT sportscar racing. Grand Touring sports cars are cars you could see in everyday life – Ferrari 488s, Audi R8s, Porsche 911s, Mercedes AMGs and many more – but have been heavily modified for racing in terms of performance and safety.

There are nine different manufacturers racing in IntGTC. To keep competition high and exciting, SRO and IntGTC use what’s called BoP, or Balance of Performance. Through additional weight and horsepower adjustments, cars are balanced to similar lap times, so the race wins are put more in the hands of the drivers and teams. This is why one can see a Bentley, Ferrari and BMW all battling for victory, for example.

Fans at IMS will see two different specifications of cars racing – GT3 and GT4 - and while the cars look similar, they are very different in terms of speed. GT3s, the feature class, have more horsepower – between 500 and 600 - where the GT4 cars have around 400-430 horsepower. The GT3 machines also have higher downforce with larger wings and dive planes, which allow for higher speeds through the corners. GT4s have smaller wings and overall less aerodynamics, therefore less downforce and slower cornering speeds.

With the Indianapolis 8 Hour being an endurance race, each car will have three drivers in their lineups with each car aiming for wins in their respective classes – Overall (all professional drivers) and Pro-Am (a mix of amateur and professional drivers).

Fans will see some of the world’s top sports car drivers during the event like Nicky Catsburg, Markus Winkelhock, Mirko Bortolotti, former Indy 500 pole sitter and NTT INDYCAR SERIES driver Ryan Briscoe, and some familiar faces from SRO America like Ryan Dalziel, Colin Braun, Michael Cooper, Spencer Pumpelly and Bill Auberlen.

While the IMS road course has been around for 20 years, this will be the first time many of these cars have competed at the circuit, meaning the teams and drivers will have a large learning curve to get the setup right for the race. The BoP will help get the cars to a similar lap time around the circuit, but over eight hours the race will come down to execution, by the teams during pit stops and with strategy, and the drivers navigating through traffic and being consistent during their stints.

The inaugural Indianapolis 8 Hours gets underway at 10 a.m. (ET) Sunday, Oct. 4, streaming live at and at

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