The Heart of Racing charge continues with another win for Riberas and Gunn at Road America

Monday, August 07, 2023


Yesterday’s IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship’s visit to Road America certainly did produce yet another thrilling event as the five classes of the Championship came back together for another two hours and forty minutes of racing around the four-mile Wisconsin circuit.

Having both faltered slightly during the opening rounds of the 2023 season, both Heart of Racing Aston Martin Racing Vantage GTD’s were on something of a mid-season charge and the results of Road America would place both the #23 and #27 crews in good stead for the final three rounds of the season.

With the circuit having been battered and bruised with overnight storms earlier in the calendar, yesterday’s unusual morning start saw the forty-five strong grid get underway under very pleasant summer sun for the IMSA record crowd at the circuit albeit probably a little too warm for those in Nomex race suits.

Going green, the race was soon under its first period of caution as the crews of two prototypes faced an early bath but for the two Heart crews, Alex Riberas had maintained his pole position status within his GTD Pro class, and Roman De Angelis had moved up one to P4 from his original GTD starting position.

Restored to green flag conditions with two hours seventeen still on the clock, it was game on again as the #3 Corvette forced the #23 car of Riberas to hold a tighter and cleaner line whilst De Angelis looked ahead for further passing opportunities. Covering off an early pit stop for one GTD Pro car saw the #23 car also pit at the two-hour mark for its first full service of fuel and tyres plus a driver change to Ross Gunn with the #27 car following suit a lap later although De Angelis would remain aboard the #27 as both cars would run a similar strategy to that of the race winning performance at Lime Rock Park last time out.

A further period of caution came with eighty minutes left on the race clock as another prototype left track and became immobile and that obviously allowed the field to condense back together allowing the Inception McLaren to push the #27 hard once the race went back to green. Both cars then took their final stops for fuel and tyres with about an hour remaining and the #27 finally saw Marco Sorenson get behind of the wheel for his first ever race at Road America as De Angelis pitted from second in class.

Another FCY for another prototype took a few more minutes off the clock as Gunn this time reeled in the #3 Corvette, first with a gap wasting move before finally passing them on track just before the #3 was awarded another drive through penalty for an apparent repeat refuelling time infraction.

Into the final fifteen minutes and the gaps to the cars behind the #27 soon became insurmountable to those chasing as Gunn was already over fifteen seconds ahead and almost cruising towards another GTD Pro class win. Whilst he was doing this, the #27 car of Sorenson was not fairing so well as he had dropped to an initial P9 in class before ultimately recovering for a P7 in class finish.

These results see the #23 crew again narrow the gap to those ahead with another batch of maximum points to hold P5 in the overall driver’s standings, now just be just over 340 points behind the leader with three rounds to go. In GTD, the #27 crew slip a position to second to be just over 200 points behind their class leaders with the same number of races remaining at VIR, Indianapolis before finally ending the year at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

This season is certainly not over just yet - next stop Virginia International Raceway!

Photo credits – Team / Series / Michelin / J Price




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