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Jordan's Nürburgring, Indianapolis whirlwind
South African international GT racing star Jordan Pepper is taking a well-earned breather. He’s just back from a wild fortnight racing supercar Bentleys and BMWs at two of the world’s most illustrious racetracks. First up was the Nürburgring 24 Hour aboard Walkenhorst’s BMW M6 GT3, before Pepper jetted off to Indianapolis this past weekend. To defend his ICGT championship lead aboard a K-Pax Bentley Continental GT3.
“Nürburgring was a really cool and crazy experience,” Jordan explained. The 24 Hour was stopped by a major storm late Saturday evening, before resuming Sunday morning. “Not everything really went our way, but it was such a great feeling to finish that race for the first time. “The experience will definitely help me in my future race career.
“The 24 Hour was tough — we were racing on Yokohama tyres, which were brilliant on the Nordscheife in the dry. “But it rained almost all the race and the wets were just not on the pace! “We also lost a lap due to contact, but we fought hard throughout an incredible weekend with a great team.”
Jordan then had to rush to catch his flight to the US to race on another piece of motorsport hallowed ground at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Jordan and fellow Bentley boys Jules Gounon and Maxime Soulet were there to defend their Intercontinental GT Challenge championship lead at February’s Aussie Bathurst 12-hour in their Continental GT3.
“Indy was also tricky!” Jordan admitted. “We had one goal there and that was to score maximum points. “We did score a few , but not quite as many as we may have wanted. "We were after a podium or a win and we enjoyed a strong weekend through practice and qualifying and we were really confident for the race.
"We qualified second, but we were hit with a frustrating ten-place grid penalty. “The race was really tricky early on, but really good — we opted for slicks in the damp. "I was confident and the track came to me — we were leading when the rain came down harder. “So we opted for another bold strategy, double-stinting on wets after the re-start. “I went straight back ahead and we were leading by a minute again after two hours.
Sadly three laps before pitting for slicks, Jordan was hit hard from behind by a lapped GT4 car. The Bentley was damaged and the team lost 35 laps. “We still finished and scored points,” Jordan rued. “It’s such a pity that we were taken out of a strong position through no fault of our own. “That's racing, I suppose! “We're still leading the ICGT championship but not by much, so the focus is on the Spa 24— that’s a big one for us."
Jordan now takes a well-earned rest weekend before the next round of the ADAC GT Masters at Red Bull Ring and then the Spa 24. From there, there are still two more rounds of the GT Masters. And then the European GT Endurance finale at Paul Ricard to close off a hectic European season. Jordan’s final 2020 appointment is back home at the Kyalami 9 Hour in December.
Issued on behalf of Jordan Pepper
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