Two events - differing Qualifying results for their respective AMR Partner teams

Saturday, April 15, 2023


Two differing sets of Qualifying results from either end of their class grids will affect a number of Aston Martin Racing Partner teams in this weekend’s races within both the IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship from Long Beach in California later today and the World Endurance Championship’s second round of the season from Portimao tomorrow.

Differing Vantage GT platforms, rule sets and Balance of Performances between them of course by starting in the USA, the Heart of Racing had a stellar build up to their third round of the IMSA around the iconic street circuit layout of Long Beach which resulted in a near front row lock out for their two AMR Vantage GT3’s.

With a rule change this season of allowing either of the GTD driver to set the Qualifying time, earlier was the duty of Ross Gunn and Marco Sorensen to do so within the team’s #23 GTD Pro and #27 GTD class cars respectively. Throughout the sessions earlier laps, steady build up was key for the Dane to suddenly hit the overall top slot with Gunn just behind.

As the minutes passed, others went quicker only for Sorensen to again go top just as two other cars hit heavily into the concrete wall out of turn eight to bring out the red flag a small amount of time remaining. That session was not restarted and that meant that Marco Sorensen and Romain De Angelis claimed the overall GTD class Pole Position in their #27 car with Gunn and co-driver Alex Riberas directly behind them on today’s grid in third overall – second in GTD Pro.

That contrasts with the three AMR Vantage GTE’s competing within the WEC in Portugal as the #25 ORT with TF Sport, #98 Northwest AMR and #777 D’Station Racing again struggled with pace and consistency of pace with their three Free Practice sessions so far as their GTE Am class went into their earlier Qualifying session this afternoon.

An early ‘banker’ lap from Paul Dalla Lana aboard his #98 car saw him hit the top three but that was short lived as he, Satoshi Hoshino (#777) and Ahmad Al Harthy (#25) all seemed to fail to connect and fall out of track limits around the undulating circuit during the middle part of the session.

Two purple sectors for Al Harthy was blighted by a waved yellow within the third for a spun car and all that work was wasted as a result as only a P7 position was possible as a consequence. Whilst both the #98 and #777 cars continued to be more than a second off the pole setting pace, the #25 car remained the fastest Aston to set a time worthy of a P5 start in class for tomorrows six-hour race. The #777 and #98 cars will be starting P11 and P12 respectively.

For these guys, tomorrows race could be another ‘difficult’ one to watch!

Photo credits – A Lofthouse / D Gibson / Jamey Price
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