Two top five finishes and important points on the board again for the Heart of Racing after another gruelling 12 hour visit to Sebring

Sunday, March 17, 2024


The Heart of Racing Team left Sebring International Raceway with two top five finishes following the 72nd running of the Twelve Hours of Sebring. The No. 23 Heart of Racing Aston Martin GTD PRO entry scored a fifth place result and the No. 27 Heart of Racing Aston Martin GTD entry landed a fourth place finish.

The stacked lineup of the No. 23 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 GTD PRO entry included Ross Gunn, Alex Riberas, and Mario Farnbacher. During Friday’s sunny and hot afternoon qualifying session, Farnbacher qualified the No. 23 Heart of Racing entry second in class. 

Farnbacher was first behind the wheel for Saturday’s 9:40am start, completing the first two stints while maintaining a top three position before handing the Aston Martin Vantage GT3 to Riberas. Gunn was next in the driver's seat as the team raced in podium position at the halfway mark.

The second half of the twelve hour enduro saw seven caution periods and the Farnbacher, Riberas, Gunn trio each took another turn in the Aston Martin Vantage GT3. The trio was able to stay in the top five for a majority of the second half until a late race drive through penalty forced the team to the back of the GTD PRO field. Undeterred, Gunn was able to push forward in the last hour of the enduro, to cross the finish line in fifth.

After the race, Gunn added that “Sebring was a tough day at the office for everyone but I’m super proud of everyone that pulled together to get a P5. I don't think we had a P5 pace car today, unfortunately but it gave us more time and more mileage on the car for everybody to learn. You know, this is only the second race for the car. To be fighting some of the best teams, drivers and cars in the world. Its early stages are very encouraging. We've got a few things to analyze and few things to work on. But overall, good points again. Compared to last year, we are way more ahead points wise from Daytona and Sebring than last year. I think that's a positive that we can take through to Laguna.” 

The No. 27 Heart of Racing GTD entry featured Ian James, Roman De Angelis, and Zacharie Robichon.

James started from the ninth row after qualifying for the team on Friday afternoon. James completed his three stints in the Aston Martin Vantage GT3 in the first four hours of the twelve hour enduro, setting the stage for De Angelis and Robichon to finish the remainder of the race. De Angelis was in the fourth place position as the halfway mark ticked away. 

Taking turns each stint, De Angelis and Robichon battled through the remaining caution filled six hours that featured a typically warm afternoon. The duo was able to maintain their fourth place position as De Angelis took the checkered flag in fourth.

“I mean finishing Sebring in fourth is kind of bittersweet. It’s nice to get some points on the board after Daytona but then there is ‘what could have been.’ Just lacked a little bit of pace all day today but I think we were one of the cars that just kept our nose clean and defended. The Heart of Racing did a great job, we had a good result for both cars. Ready to come back stronger. Now we start sprint racing and I’m looking forward to that" said De Angelis after the race.

The Heart of Racing IMSA program will be back in action on the streets of Long Beach, April 19-21st.

Source material - HoRT
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