A near perfect weekend for the Heart of Racing team as IMSA races at Long Beach

Sunday, April 16, 2023


It wasn’t to be quite the lights to flag race for the Heart of Racing Aston Martin Racing powered team in Long Beach California as their two Vantage GTD cars embarked upon the third round overall and first Sprint Cup round of the IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship yesterday.

With Marco Sorensen having been the dominant force within his #27 car during Fridays Qualifying session by claiming overall GTD Pole Position, his front row start with Ross Gunn starting the teams #23 GTD Pro from fourth importantly placed both cars at the front of a twenty strong GTD grid around the tight and twisty street circuit.

On the formation lap to the green flag to start the one hour forty-minute race, it did appear that the #14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus did overtake the #27 car going into the final tight corner onto the start straight to claim an unfair advantage at the flag. Going into the opening lap, the #14 Lexus had indeed stolen the march on the Dane to claim the GTD lead as the race immediately went into FCY mode for two stricken GTP cars.

Back to green and the characteristics of a street circuit confirmed the difficulty of overtaking for evenly matched GTD machinery as Sorensen was forced to follow the Lexus in second whilst Gunn did similar in overall fourth.

Pitting just one side of halfway, Sorensen handed the #27 car to Roman De Angelis whilst Gunn did likewise to Alex Riberas just a lap later. De Angelis was however blighted by the pit lane exiting #1 BMW that doggedly defended its freshly assumed race leading position throughout until its own tyres had come up to temperature.

With both Heart cars fortunately avoiding all other on track shenanigans, the #27 and #23 cars continued to cycle around track, unable to fulfill a consolidated challenge to those ahead to finally finish the race second overall and first in GTD for the #27 car of De Angelis and Sorensen and fifth overall and fourth in GTD Pro for the #23 car of Riberas and Gunn.

A great weekend from all involved!!

Photo credits – Jamey Price / AMR / Team
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