Another double podium for the Heart of Racing AMR squad after their visit to Lime Rock Park at the weekend

Sunday, July 17, 2022

Following on from the Michelin Pilot Challenge from Lime Rock Park yesterday was of course the runners and riders from the IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship’s GTD and GTD Pro classes. Again competing around the tight 1.5-mile circuit, there simply wasn’t enough room for any of the prototype classes so the fifteen GTD based cars had the circuit literally to themselves.

Like the MPC Series before them, the GTD runners also ran their Qualifying laps on Friday afternoon with both the Heart of Racing Aston Martin Racing Vantage GTD’s running at a point at the head of each class before finally finishing third in each class ahead of their 160-minute race.

With Qualifying drivers starting, that meant for Ross Gunn to lead their #23 GTD Pro car’s charge whilst Roman De Angelis would do likewise in their #27 GTD Class car after both crews conserved tyres for the race by only running seven laps each during Qualifying.

Unlike the MPC race before them, and whilst each car ran a very strategic but full-on opening race pattern, things wouldn’t get too exciting on track until much after the first round of stops as Gunn had just dropped to P4 overall by the time he handed over to Alex Riberas and De Angelis had maintained his P3 position before he handed over to Maxime Martin.

Approaching the final hour and both Aston Martin’s were running an obvious fuel saving pattern with plenty of lifting and coasting around this short circuit with only ad-hoc bouts of pressure from behind with Riberas even allowing a lapped Mercedes AMG car to pass him by as both were running by then – P2 in each class.

With half an hour remaining, the #51 Mercedes would pass Martin for position in GTD just before an Acura went hard and too fast to impact heavily into the rubber belt protected tyre wall of the final corner. With the driver OK but his car stuck under the tyre bundles, that brought out an immediate FCY which allowed all to pit again for fuel.

On the restart and with just ten minutes remaining, Riberas had to defend hard from the #14 Lexus whilst Martin again dropped to P4 in their class.

With the race finally awakening, the last ten minutes gave us some great racing as Martin recovered to P3 passed the #32 Mercedes with just five minutes remaining before on the final half of the last lap, the GTD leading #57 Mercedes AMG suddenly slowed with an apparent shortage of fuel which allowed both the #1 BMW and the #27 Heart of Racing cars to pass before the chequered flag.

With Riberas also having gapped the opposition behind but not able to catch the Porsche ahead, that meant for another double podium for the AMR Partner team as both the #23 and #27 cars came home P2 in class.

Next time out at Road America will be a different ‘kettle of fish’ for the GTD crews as a more usual 4-mile circuit comes back into play as well do the three prototype classes!

Photo credits - Team







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