Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli championship leader Jules Gounon will spearhead Mercedes-AMG’s defence of the Indianapolis 8 Hour presented by AWS on October 5-7.
The French-Andorran, who could seal the IGTC drivers’ title with a round to spare, shares Craft-Bamboo’s entry with Raffaele Marciello and Maximilian Goetz.
Victory at Indy with Craft-Bamboo, Marciello and Daniel Morad propelled Dani Juncadella to last year’s Intercontinental crown. And the Spaniard also returns to the Brickyard this year in another strong Mercedes-AMG Pro entry overseen by GruppeM Racing. That car’s line-up is completed by Maro Engel and Luca Stolz.
The latter partnered Gounon to Bathurst 12 Hour success earlier this season and is now one of his nearest drivers’ championship rivals following results at the Kyalami 9 Hour and CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa. 15 points separate the pair and BMW’s Philipp Eng who could also feature at Indy subject to BMW’s plans.
The two German marques are also locked in battle for the IGTC manufacturers’ crown. BMW – a Indy 8 Hours winner in 2020 – leads by nine points. But it’s Mercedes-AMG that has reason to be confident after Gounon and Juncadella claimed IMSA GTD victory together there only last weekend.
Mercedes-AMG has yet to confirm its other two IGTC nominations but has five additional entries to choose from.
Four of them will also battle for Indy’s Pro-Am honours, while Kenny Habul returns to the cockpit for the first time since injury forced his withdrawal from Spa. The America-based Australian remains an IGTC Independent Cup title contender with SunEnergy1 whose car features factory talent in the shape of Mikaël Grenier.
Elsewhere, TR3 has submitted one Am entry, DXDT has two Pro-Am representatives, and George Kurtz and Colin Braun (CrowdStrike by Riley) will also be challenging for the Fanatec GT World Challenge America Powered by AWS drivers’ title. They top their domestic Pro-Am standings ahead of the penultimate round at Sebring this weekend.