Heart of Racing living the dream at Le Mans 24hr debut

Friday, June 09, 2023


The Heart of Racing (HOR) Team will make its 24 Hours of Le Mans debut tomorrow at the Circuit de le Sarthe in the event’s centenary.

Alex Riberas, Ian James, and Daniel Mancinelli will pilot the No. 98 Aston Martin Vantage GTE. The outing will mark the team’s second World Endurance Championship (WEC) event, competing with Aston Martin under the Northwest AMR entry following the retirement of former Le Mans podium finisher Paul Della Lana earlier this spring. 

While Riberas and Mancinelli look forward to making their first-ever 24 Hours of Le Mans, the start of the race will mark the third outing in the French classic for James. The HOR team principal first raced in the event in 2005, returning to score an LMP2 podium in 2006.

"The race is extra special of course, being the 100th running. It will be a lot different than the last time I was there, but I am very much looking forward to getting there and getting things going,” said James. “This has already been a really big year for Heart of Racing with the Rolex 24 win, the debut of our expanded program in SRO, and now growing to race in WEC and having the opportunity to compete at Le Mans, it’s really remarkable for the team as a whole. This race requires so much of everyone involved. We’ve got outstanding support, and there is so much talent on this program so we are looking to put all of that preparation and effort into a successful outing."

Energy is on full blast throughout the team. Competing in Le Mans is often referred to as a career pinnacle. For Riberas, the event marks a “dream come true”.

“This isn’t just one of those races that you highlight for the year, for me this will be a highlight to my entire life,” said Riberas. “It’s an honor to be here and be part of our team’s debut in the 100th edition of the race.”

When asked how he’s preparing, he shared “I’m personally preparing like I would any other race because no matter the scale of the event, I always prepare as well as I can. We are going in with the same mindset as we do every race and that’s to capitalize on every opportunity and give it everything we’ve got. I’m sure after the race I will realize I just raced at Le Mans and freak out a little bit! It’s incredibly exciting to be here and I’m using that excitement to focus on the race for now.”

The 24 Hours of Le Mans will take the green flag at 10:00am ET on June 10th.

Source material - HoRT
Photo credit - D Gibson
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