A hard hit for one and a chance lost for the other Heart of Racing AMR as IMSA visits CTMP

Monday, July 10, 2023

If the two Aston Martin Racing powered teams within the FIA World Endurance Championship, had it bad yesterday over at Monza, the Heart of Racing AMR team unfortunately suffered equally as they competed within the latest round of the IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship from Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

Having elected to skip the fifth round of the WEC in Italy, Saturdays Qualifying appeared to justify their decision as the #27 Vantage GTD car of Roman De Angelis and Marco Sorenson claimed class pole position whilst the teams #23 GTD Pro Aston Martin of Alex Riberas and Ross Gunn claimed a P3 start in their class ahead of the 160-minute race.

With a starting grid this time around of just thirty-four GTP, LMP3 and GTD cars, the race would later prove just how congested the 2.5-mile CTMP circuit would get as each class battled for their own supremacy under the cloudier and cooler Ontario skies.

The opening laps went surprising smoothly as Riberas a up ahead lead De Angelis through the opening corners third and fourth overall in GTD before the two GT classes became a little more spread out by the time the faster GTP class came through them for the first time.

After just forty minutes of running, the #23 car would pit for the first time and to swap Riberas out for Gunn who would run the GTD Pro entered car to the end. Whilst the #27 would pit a lap or so later, minimum drive time for the Canadian would mean that Sorenson would have to wait his turn until later in the race.

At the halfway stage, the #23 car was running in P4 albeit a distant 17 seconds back from the leading Lexus whilst the #27 car of De Angelis had got their class leading #1 BMW back firmly within his sights. Just moments later however, an attempted pass by Gunn around the outside of Jules Gounon’s #79 Mercedes saw slight front/rear contact being made between the two cars with the #23 car spinning off to impact heavily into the outside tyre wall.

Going immediately to Full Course Caution, the immediate concern was for the welfare of Gunn, but he was soon seen repositioning himself out of the car under his own steam – obviously winded but otherwise OK for his experience. Gunn would later confirm that he was otherwise Ok but was still thankful for Prodrive making the Vantage GTD chassis as strong as they do!!

With the #23 car out, it became a simple race to the flag for the #27 car with Sorenson now at the wheel having pitted during the caution, giving the Dane just over an hour to work his magic.

Two further FCY’s unfortunately hindered that progress as the #27 struggled pace against the need to conserve fuel for the final twenty minutes as he closed in upon the #32 Mercedes AMG GTD for third in class.

A further off for a GTP class car at turn 8 however would stop that charge in an instant as the race again went under a FCY and with just five minutes of the race remaining, the race would conclude behind the Safety Car with the #27 car finishing P4 in GTD.

Photo credits – Team / J Price


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