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8-Hour Preview
Sports Cars Return to Spotlight This Weekend at IMS

Some of the most evocative names in global motorsportsAston Martin, Audi, BMW, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche – will compete on the biggest stage this weekend as the Indianapolis 8 Hour Presented by AWS returns Friday, Oct. 7 through Sunday, Oct. 9 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The eight-hour endurance sports car race, which starts at noon ET Saturday, will feature two series racing simultaneously on the 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course at IMS – the Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli and the Fanatec GT World Challenge America Powered by AWS. A total of 25 cars are expected to compete into the dusk, a unique sight for fans at the Racing Capital of the World.

Other series racing during this fall festival of sports car and touring car action include GT America, Pirelli GT4 America and TC America. Those three series are conducting doubleheader sprint races during the weekend, with Race 1 Friday or Saturday and Race 2 Sunday.

Tickets are available at IMS.com.

Fourteen cars are expected to race for victory in the Intercontinental GT Challenge during the 8 Hour, with season drivers and manufacturers championships on the line in the penultimate round of the global series in 2022.

Jules Gounon and Mercedes-AMG are in strong position to claim drivers and manufacturers titles at Indy, respectively, after both scored maximum points in the first two races of the season.

Mercedes-AMG also will receive a boost this weekend since its closest rival – Audi Sport – is not racing this weekend at IMS. Instead, reigning manufacturers champion Ferrari and Lamborghini and Porsche will try to find a way to break Mercedes’ dominant march toward what appears to be an inevitable first IGTC manufacturers’ title.

That’s a tall task, as Mercedes-AMG holds an 86-35 edge over absent Audi, with Ferrari third at 25 points. Ferrari must outscore Mercedes-AMG by 18 points to stay eligible for the manufacturers’ title at the season-ending race Dec. 9-11 at Abu Dhabi.

Frenchman Gounon leads fellow Mercedes-AMG driver Dani Juncadella by seven points in the drivers’ standings. Gounon will join Russell Ward and Phillip Ellis in the No. 33 Winward Racing Mercedes, while Juncadella will share the No. 77 Team Craft-Bamboo Racing Mercedes with former Indy Lights driver Daniel Morad and Raffaele Marciello.

If Gounon can win for the third time this season, he will clinch the drivers’ championship.

Morad isn’t the only driver with INDYCAR ties competing in the IGTC field this Saturday.INDYCAR SERIES veterans Tristan Vautier (No. 6 US RaceTronics Mercedes), Jan Heylen (No. 45 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911), Franck Perera (No. 3 K-PAX Racing Lamborghini Huracan) and Ryan Dalziel (No. 13 Triarsi Competizione Ferrari 488) all will race.

There are more IMS and INDYCAR ties in the GT World Challenge America field. Jarett Andretti, son of INDYCAR SERIES race winner John Andretti, and INDYCAR SERIES race winner and Indianapolis 500 pole winner Ryan Briscoe will join Jeff Westphal behind the wheel of the No. 218 Andretti Autosport x Vital Speed Ferrari 488.

Spectators are admitted Friday through Sunday at IMS, with the action getting underway at 8 a.m. ET Friday and Saturday and 9 a.m. Sunday. Among the schedule highlights besides the 8 Hour race is 8 Hour qualifying at 1:55 p.m. Friday and the pole shootout for that event at 4:55 p.m. that day.

Click here for the complete schedule and more event and fan information.

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