Ferrari will be looking to claim the SRO GT World Challenge America Pro Am championship when the green flag waves for the Indianapolis 8 Hour on Sunday at 10 a.m. at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Pro-Am. Martin Fuentes and Rodrigo Baptista enter the season finale with a 49-point lead. By virtue of starting the event, earning even minimum points will provisionally give them an insurmountable lead.
Squadra Corse will also be looking to secure the team championship, entering the finale with a 18-point lead, 203-185.
But meeting the minimum isn’t the goal— Squadra Corse is looking to continue its winning streak. Fuentes and Baptista dominated the recent event at Austin’s Circuit of The Americas, winning both overall and in Pro Am on Saturday and Sunday from the pole. The pair also won the second race at COTA during the season-opening weekend at COTA, in addition to Saturday triumphs at Sonoma and Road America for a total of five victories – three of them overall.
Fuentes is in position to wrap up his third-consecutive and fifth-career championship in the series – all for Ferrari. He won nine races in 2016 (including seven in a row); 13 races in sweeping both the Sprint GTA and SprintX Am crowns in 2018; and was a nine-race-winning champion for Squadra Corse last year.
They will be joined by Vital Speed who will be competing for the GT3 Overall victory, with IndyCar veteran Ryan Briscoe joining Trevor Baek and Jeff Westphal in the No. 6 Ferrari 488 GT3. Baek is a veteran of Ferrari Challenge competition, finishing third in the points and winning a race in 2018.
Briscoe won the 2020 24 Hours at Daytona and currently leads the IMSA WeatherTech Championship DPi standings. He is also an eight-time winner in IndyCar competition.
This will be the second appearance of the season for the team in GT World Challenge America. Baek and Westphal took sixth in Pro Am in the opening race of the season at Circuit of The Americas, while Rich Baek and Mark Issa were third in Am. However, both cars were eliminated in accidents during the Sunday race.
Ferrari History builds at Indianapolis. Ferrari’s involvement with the Brickyard dates back to 1952, when Formula One championship-bound Alberto Ascari qualified 19th for the Indy 500. He was running as high as ninth before spinning to the infield and exiting the event. He was classified in 31st position.
Ferrari also captured six of the eight runnings of the United States F1 Grand Prix at Indianapolis in the 2000s. Michael Schumacher won the inaugural event in 2000, with teammate Rubens Barrichello winning in 2002. From there, Schumacher won the next four races from 2003 through 2006.
The Ferrari Challenge ran in conjunction with F1 from 2000 through 2002. Steve Earle won the opening two races, with Michael Cullen the 2002 winner and returned for the 2019 and 2020 seasons.
The Grand Am Sports Car Series held the Brickyard Grand Prix in 2012-13. Jeff Segal and Max Papis won the GT class in the later event for AIM Autosport in a Ferrari 458. The event continued in 2014 as part of the new IMSA United SportsCar Championship (the present WeatherTech Championship), with Alessandro Balzan and Jeff Westphal winning GT Daytona in a Ferrari 458 fielded by Scuderia Corsa.
Schedule. Practice for the Indianapolis 8 Hour begins at 1:40 p.m. on Friday (all times ET). Pre-qualifying is set for 8:30 a.m. Saturday, followed by qualifying groups beginning at 12:10 p.m. The pole shootout will be held at 5:30 p.m.
The race is set to take the green flag at 10 a.m. on Sunday.