Heart of Racing take the rough with the smooth

Monday, August 03, 2020

Last weekends effective fourth round of the 2020 IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship from Road America should have marked the return to competitive motorsport for the Seattle based Heart of Racing Team and their Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GTD after their forced and then subsequent elective sabbatical from the Championship due to the COVID-19 situation within the USA.

Having only raced at the opening round of the IMSA Championship at the Rolex 24 at Daytona at the turn of the year, the team elected to remain absent through choice from the Championship as it got back to racing with a further round from Daytona and most recently from Sebring two weeks ago before committing to a return of their own at Road America.

Plans, like all plans sometimes do often change and fairly quickly for the team they did have to change as one half of their driver line up in Alex Riberas was unable to travel back from New Zealand from where he was originally on holiday before business potential soon took over. His place was soon filled by Team Principle Ian James who would race along side another AMR Drivers Academy recruit in Roman de Angelis.

Always being tough getting back into the groove from a long time away from a race track, the #23 made good time improvements in Free Practice ahead of Saturdays Qualifying and Sundays two hours forty minute race.

With James having Qualified the car in P11, the car was then subject to a fuel leak within the cockpit that meant, despite some long overnight working by the crew, that that the fault could not be rectified at the circuit and was therefore withdrawn from Sunday's (in hindsight) chaotic scenes that severely affected proceedings due to driveable track conditions.

Despite this bad news, the team have already committed to be back at the next round of the Championship at Virginia International Raceway in just under three weeks time for an event that may well be from behind closed doors!

That being said, the team have gone on to confirm the reasons of what Riberas was up to in New Zealand with an announcement to say that they will now be taking an AMR Vantage GT3 (GTD) to the country to compete in both the Golden Homes North Island Endurance Series and Carters Tyre Service South Island Endurance Series with former National Drifting Champion Darren Kelly.

We will look forward to finding out more detail on this new adventure for the team in due course.

Photo credits - Heart Of Racing

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