They go to Laguna Seca in their pairs

Tuesday, September 07, 2021


And onto the next rounds this weekend of both the IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship and supporting Michelin Pilot Challenge way over on the other side of the USA at the Weathertech Raceway Laguna Seca near Monterey, California.

With the eight rounds of the IMSA Championship and seven rounds of the GT4/TCR Championship having been run on the eastern side of the continent, this round sees that first of two long haul rounds on the western side of the country with Long Beach following on from this one.

For Laguna Seca we have already learned that the Heart of Racing GTD team will be entering two Aston Martin Racing Vantage GT3 cars into each of the season’s remaining Sprint Cup races (which this round is one) with Alex Riberas having returned from his Championship winning jaunt over in New Zealand with the team there to pair up again with team boss Ian James in their #27 car entry for the first time since the Rolex 24 last year!

We understand that this car is the car that Riberas and Darren Kelly won the North Island Endurance Series this year down in New Zealand and would mark (with Riberas having removed himself from the country presently operating a strict entry/exit CV19 regime) the end to any further GT participation for the team down under.

They join team regulars Roman de Angelis and Ross Gunn and their Sprint Cup Championship leading #23 AMR Vantage GTD after a fourth placed finish last time out at Road America saw them drop their podium finish per race string of races, but was still sufficient to keep them in the lead in GTD.

This weekend’s race will see twenty-seven cars from across the DPi, LMP2, GTLM and GTD take to the tight and twisting 2.2 mile circuit for the two hours and forty minute race on Sunday so contact and drama will become a factor in the results.

In turn, these two Aston Martins will be joined by two Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GT4’s for the supporting Michelin Pilot Challenge race at the circuit on Saturday evening.

With the Notlad Racing AMR of Patrick Gallagher and Stevan McAleer not available for this round after having swapped to the Series from the GT4 America Series earlier this year, this round sees the return of the full season entry from the Volt Racing with Archangel Motorsport team and their #7 AMR Vantage GT4 of Alan Brynjolfsson and Trent Hindman as well as the #99 Stoner Car Care with Automatic Racing competing with a guesting crew from Asia.

Still effectively locked down from the start of the pandemic, the racing scene in Asia has virtually been at a standstill but with the gradual opening up of borders, this has allowed these drivers to seek adventures for themselves elsewhere in the world – including this weekend at Laguna Seca.

Racing in the #99 car for the first time sees the boss of Motorsport Services AMR Asia (AMR’s official distributing in the region – much like CSJ Motorsport is in the America’s) Weiron Tan join forces with Indonesian gentleman racer Anderson Tanoto for this one-off appearance having been acquainted with one another in the Audi Cup Asia Series when Tan acted as Tanoto’s driver coach amongst others.

Despite what previous finishes for the #7 Volt car may have suggested or indeed implied, both Brynjolfsson and Hindman remain very much in contention for the ultimate prize by the end of the season some 390 points behind the leading BMW but with 350 points available for a race win – and with three races remaining this season.

Photo credits – HoRT / IMSA / Volt Racing / Stoner Car Care / F Lagunas / CSJ Motorsport

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