Chasing wins and championships: From Indiana to Catalunya
The race weekend at Indianapolis Motor speedway was very much a tale of two halves for inception racing. Two dominant victories in the GT America series from Brendan Iribe was certainly the highlight, while Sunday’s second round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge, the Indy 8 Hour, proved tricky from the outset.
Brendan was already very familiar with GT America, having finished second on his debut at Circuit of the Americas before the very next day, going one better and securing the victory. The American racer returned at VIRginia and then repeated the result over the two rounds. His performance at the home of the Indy 500 was extra special though, starting both races from the pole position before powering to dominant victories in both races.
The big event of the weekend however was the Indy 8H, and unfortunately, the race result was severely compromised at the start. Lining up 17th overall and second in Pro-Am, Brendan negotiated the opening lap without issue, wisely leaving extra margin into the first turn for the first time.
Next time around, however, with the #19 DXDT and the #88 Zelus Motorsport Lamborghini battling for position, the two made contact, the latter spinning across in front of Brendan who was forced to take avoiding action.
The end result was that Brendan found himself beached in the gravel trap, and following an off on his return for inspection, some five laps were subsequently lost before he was able to resume his stint in anger. This effectively ended hopes of a strong race result. The team cycled through further stints with Kevin Madsen and Ollie Millroy, gaining positions through attrition before finishing 15th overall, fifth in class.
While the main event at Indianapolis didn’t go to plan, the team are now travelling to Barcelona for the final round of International GT Open. Brendan and Ollie hold a commanding lead in the Pro-Am standings.
With a 19-point advantage, they have one hand on the title as even if their nearest rivals – Marcus Paverud and Jens Moller - record back-to-back wins, Brendan and Ollie simply need a points finish to be crowned as 2021 Pro-AM champions.
The GT Open action gets underway with testing on Thursday at Circuit de Catalunya, official practice Friday and then rounds 13 and 14 Saturday and Sunday respectively.
“While we wish we could have been further up in the results and onto the podium, it was a great event at Indianapolis. We had some misfortune early on and that put us behind from the get-go. The team worked hard and there was a positive attitude al the way to the end of the race. It was a great showing for the inception racing Optimum Motorsport car. I did what I needed to do with two good stints, Ollie’s super quick and Brendan did great out there, even in his final stint with some car issues. We now look forward to Kyalami, so let’s go get it!”
“It was a frustrating race as we had really good pace. The early race issues put us on the back foot, but it’s good that we finished and plenty of additional experience for Brendan. The car was great, the team did amazing pitstops for us, but unfortunately it was not our day.”