A class win at Petit Le Mans rounds off an awesome 2021 for the Heart of Racing AMR team

Sunday, November 14, 2021

If you are going to finish off any motor racing season, then you may as well finish on something of a high with a race win at one of your series most prestigious events.

Having already secured the Sprint Cup in IMSA’s Weathertech Sportscar Championship, the Heart of Racing Aston Martin Racing Team also had an extremely slim chance at taking the overall GTD Class title at the final ten-hour event that was yesterday’s Motul Petit Le Mans.

Not pretending to have watched the entire drama that unfolded yesterday, we did watch the #23 AMR car of Ian James (starting driver) progress his #23 AMR car from near last on the grid through to near the top end of the class (on merit) before the halfway stage and before darkness took over the Road America circuit.

Luckily not be involved in the dramatic race restart crash that wiped out another four GTD class cars just before nightfall, James’s co-drivers Ross Gunn and Roman De Angelis then shared driving duties to progress that advantage made on track to take and hold the class lead from that point forward to eventually take the class win by just under eight seconds from the chasing #9 Pfaff Motorsport Porsche.

Whilst that win, the first at Petit Le Mans for the new variant of turbo charged Aston Martin Vantage GT3 and AMR’s first since the heady DBR9 days of 2006, was also something in itself to be extremely proud in its own right for both the team and AMR factory back in England but sadly, it wasn’t enough for them to bridge that point divide to scoop the overall GTD Class title as well to make it an extra-ordinary double for the year.

That accolade went to the Pfaff team of Laurens Vanthoor and Zacharie Robichon with the #23 crew of De Angelis and Gunn finishing P3 in class by the end behind the Lamborghini crew of Madison Snow and Bryan Sellars.

A great achievement still for all concerned and well done to all.

Whilst the IMSA website now describes a racing sabbatical of just over two months before business starts up again with the 2022 Roar before the 24 test days at Daytona, Heart of Racing has its next exercise to overcome this weekend coming over at Sebring with the first continuous 24 hour running an inter Creventic/IMSA venture for the 24H Series event that will see one of the team’s AMR Vantage GT4’s compete there with drivers Roman De Angelis, Ian James, Gray Newell and Alex Riberas.

Photo credits – HoRT / CSJ Motorsport / F Lagunas
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