Tough luck for the Heart of Racing team at Sebring

Sunday, March 19, 2023

The Heart of Racing (HOR) was back in IMSA WeatherTech action this weekend, returning to another legendary circuit to take on the Sebring 12 Hour with the two-car squad looking to build on its strong start to the 2023 season.

HOR drivers Roman De Angelis, Marco Sorensen, and Ian James teamed in the No. 27 Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage GTD, while the No. 23 Heart of Racing Aston Martin GTD PRO machine once again had Alex Riberas, Ross Gunn, and David Pittard sharing the driving duties. 

Starting from the seventh row, James powered through the opening three hours of the race and moved forward as the track temperatures rose in the warm Florida conditions. Racing forward and into podium contention within the first hour, James then turned the car over to Sorensen. De Angelis was next up in the car, driving it up to third before turning the Aston Martin back to Sorensen, who drove the car into the lead on lap 185.

After a driver change under a caution, De Angelis was hit from behind on the restart, forcing him back to thirteenth. Over the course of 24 laps and two caution periods, De Angelis made his way back to sit second in GTD competition with three and half hours remaining. Sorensen took the Aston Martin to the lead on lap 284 before a caution returned just three laps later. 

Unfortunately, the promising run to a Sebring podium ended when Sorenson was forced off track as he raced through traffic late in the race. The World Champion was able to get the car off to a safe location, but the race was run for the team.

The GTD Pro effort saw Riberas place the Aston Martin Vantage third on the starting grid. A pair of procedural penalties slowed the effort briefly before Gunn took over the controls in seventh. But the bad luck didn’t stop there, as three and half hours into the race Gunn encountered an electrical issue exiting turn seven forcing the car to the paddock. The HOR team was able to diagnose and fix this issue in just 18 minutes and get the Aston Martin back on track. Restarting 10 laps down, the No. 23 team continued to push forward as the team continued to deliver quick pit stops and well-executed strategy to take an eighth place finish. 

The Heart of Racing’s next IMSA WeatherTech event will be the Grand Prix of Long Beach April 14th and 15th.

Source material - HoRT
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