Audi crowned 2017 Intercontinental GT Challenge champion
By winning two of the three rounds of the 2017 Intercontinental GT Challenge, Audi has again taken the manufacturers title in the only global GT3 Championship on the motorsports planet. Markus Winkelhock claims the drivers’ title, while Porsche takes the GT4 manufacturers crown.
After the cancellation of the Motul Sepang 12 Hours, the final standings of the 2017 Intercontinental GT Challenge were based on the results of the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour, the Total 24 Hours of Spa and the Mazda Raceway California 8 Hours. By winning both the Belgian and American races, Audi sports a total of 87 points, 39 more than runner-up Porsche (48 points). Bentley (37 points) completes the top three. For Audi, this is their second consecutive manufacturers’ title in the Intercontinental GT Challenge, after taking top spot in last year’s inaugural edition. No fewer than 12 prestigious manufacturers scored points in the 2017 season of the Intercontinental GT Challenge.
In the drivers championship, the late change of positions in the recent Mazda Raceway California 8 Hours handed Markus Winkelhock the title. By winning in Laguna Seca, the 37-year-old German managed to make it two Intercontinental GT Challenge victories in a row, as he had already taken the biggest trophy at this year’s Total 24 Hours of Spa at the end of July. His fellow Spa-winner Christopher Haase finished in second in California, and also second in the final driver standings. Christopher Mies ended in third, with Porsche-driver David ‘CJ’ Calvert-Jones claiming a solid fourth, after finishing in second in Bathurst and fifth in Laguna Seca.
The GT4 Manufacturers championship did not include the Total 24 Hours of Spa and only went over two rounds. By scoring full points in the final race, Porsche claimed the title by an impressive margin.
2018 will see a four-round calendar for the Intercontinental GT Challenge, with the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour, Total 24 Hours of Spa and Mazda Raceway California 8 Hours being joined by the prestigious Suzuka 10 Hours at the end of August.
Stephane Ratel (Founder and CEO SRO Motorsports Group): “Here at the SRO Motorsports Group, we would like to congratulate Audi on winning their second consecutive manufacturers’ title. By fully supporting local teams, Audi Sport has shown that the Intercontinental GT Challenge is the way forward, and we are convinced that we will see even more manufacturers do the same in 2018.”