Podium celebrations in both Super GT and IMSA for AMR Partner teams

Sunday, June 02, 2024


It was podium celebrations all round for both the Aston Martin Racing powered D’Station Racing and Heart of Racing teams within their respective Super GT and IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship yesterday and overnight.

For the Japanese D’Station Racing team, todays third round of their return to the Super GT Championship at Suzuka saw their hard work and perseverance pay off with a lights to flag class win with their Vantage GT3.

With Charlie Fagg deputising for AMR factory driver Marco Sorensen aboard the #777 car, he and co-driver Tomonobu Fujii secured their first GT300 class podium of the season with their Dunlop shod car before both took that to secure their first class win and championship points of the season after two trying rounds beforehand at Okayama and Fuji.

Eventually finishing with a gap of over thirty seconds also saw the #777 crew secure the fastest lap in class and will hold them in good stead as the series returns to their home track of Fuji Speedway in early August.

Then over in Detroit, it was the turn of the #23 Heart of Racing GTD Pro entry of Ross Gunn and Alex Riberas turn to take on the GTP/GTD Pro only round of the IMSA Championship around the improvised downtown street circuit.

Having seen the GT4’s of the Michelin Pilot Challenge race at the circuit last year, this year’s topflight only entry was always going to be explosive, and yesterday’s 100-minute race certainly didn’t disappoint.

Having qualified sixth in class, Gunn would take the start to the race but even having just crossed the start line, the first caution was issued as one car faltered on track and the pole setting GTD car was in pit lane with similar issues.

Gaining an easy position through that, another position improvement was soon coming the way of the #23 car as the #35 Ferrari ahead got turned around by the then GTP leading Porsche just ahead of their scheduled pit stop.

Now with Riberas behind the wheel for the first time in a couple of rounds (due to his WEC duties with the HoRT), the race entered a period of uncontrolled chaos as first another GTP hit the wall heavily (bringing out another FCY) before the GTD Pro class leading cars collided at the hairpin before the track was blocked completely after two GTP cars tangled further around.

Fortunately, a red flag was avoided as the drivers and corner works quickly managed to clear the blockage and traffic jam.

Losing what was P3 to the McLaren with still twenty minutes remaining, the pressure was on the #23 to regain that final podium position as another GTP/GTP incident brought out a further FCY with under ten minutes remaining. That point came into the hairpin with just two laps to go as the #23 tagged the rear of the #9 McLaren for the Aston Martin to gain track position in P3 and the #9 car down to P7.

Fortunately, Race Control viewed that as a racing incident for the #23 to secure P3 in class at the end (subject to further ratification by the Championship).

Photo credit – Teams / Series
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