Seconds out - round two of the WEC this weekend from Imola

Thursday, April 18, 2024


The second round of the World Endurance Championship is now upon us as the mixed class grid of nineteen Hypercars and eighteen new LMGT3 class cars descent upon the beautiful circuit of Imola between Bologna and San Marino in the northern half of Italy.

Just about six weeks since the opening ten-hour round of the season in Qatar, this weekend’s event will be a modest six-hour affair around the 4.9km circuit for the grid and the two Aston Martin Racing Vantage LMGT3 crews from both the Heart of Racing and D’Station Racing AMR Partner Teams.

Last time out at Losail circuit in the desert, both Aston Martin crews earned their way onto the podium of the LMGT3 class with the #27 Heart of Racing crew of Ian James, Alex Riberas and Daniel Mancinelli claimed second with the #777 D’Station Racing AMR of Marco Sorensen, Clement Mateu and Erwan Bastard claiming the final step of the podium in what was a debut event for the 2024 Vantage in LMGT3 configuration.

This time, both teams go into this second round with crucially more data about their cars as well as about data of their Goodyear tyres – but then, so does everyone else racing new to their class or with new race car derivatives for the season.

Both AMR teams are also somewhat stretched within their own organisations as the North America based Heart of Racing team also have racing commitments this weekend in both IMSA and GT America from Long Beach California, whilst the Japanese D’Station Racing team are also busing in Malaysia with the opening round of the GT World Challenge Asia Series in Sepang. Both teams are however, again assisted by many of those from within the Prodrive AMR factory in Banbury.

Whilst today has been all about checks, briefings, PR duties and later a driver parade within the town, the first track action will start tomorrow with two ninety-minute Free Practice Sessions before going into a third sixty-minute Free Practice session on Saturday morning before class Qualifying later in the afternoon.

The start of this six-hour race will be at 13:00hrs on Sunday.

Since the last round, there have obviously been changes to the Balance of Performance to the cars in both classes with changes to the Vantage LMGT3’s power to weight ratios (as with other OEM platforms) but also with the application of success ballast for their podium finishes in the form of +10kg to the declared base weight of the #27 car and +5kg to the #777.

Photo credits – Team / social media / D Gibson / AMR
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