Alex Riberas returns to The Heart of Racing as full-season driver, alongside new recruit Roman De Angelis. Team Manager Ian James joins for the four endurance races and Aston Martin works driver Nikki Thiim makes his first appearance with the team at the ROAR Before The 24.
Dec. 19, 2019. Debary, FL. – The Heart of Racing returns to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTD class with full-season drivers Alex Riberas and Roman De Angelis. The pair will be joined behind the wheel of the #23 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 by Ian James for the four endurance races. Completing the Daytona ROAR driver lineup is Aston Martin works driver Nikki Thiim.
Riberas, a driver for The Heart of Racing team in 2014 through 2016, secured his first WeatherTech Championship Victory when the team won at Sebring in 2015. Since then Riberas has enjoyed success finishing second in the 2018 Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup and in the 2017 Asian Le Mans Series’ GT class.
De Angelis joins the team following a very successful 2019 campaign. De Angelis made history in 2019 as the first driver of the IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Canada and USA series to win both titles in the same year.
James returns to the team as both Team Manager and Endurance Driver, a similar role to his duties with Team Panoz Racing this past season in GT4 America. “This is a very exciting opportunity for me and the team,” said James. “I have been working with Alex for years and he has proven himself to be one of the top GT drivers in the world. Roman has had an amazing season this year, and like in 2014 with Alex, this program tries to give young talent the opportunity to shine. I’m delighted that I still get to be behind the wheel and am grateful to Aston Martin for assigning Nicki Thiim to us, whose knowledge and experience of the car will be extremely helpful to get the team up to speed at the ROAR.”
The Heart of Racing returns to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2020 after a three-year hiatus. The full-season program will compete with the Aston Martin Vantage GT3.
Dec. 5, 2019. Debary, FL. – The Heart of Racing returns to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2020 to compete in the GT Daytona class. Former Heart of Racing driver Ian James reunites with Seattle based businessmen Gabe Newell and Yahn Bernier, and will lead the new ground-up team, full-season entrant with a new-for-2020 alliance with Aston Martin.
The team will compete with the twin-turbo V8 Aston Martin Vantage GT3, which also marks an exciting return to the North American racing scene for Aston Martin Racing in the GT3 class.
“There are so many things to be excited about for 2020,” said James. “To set up a new team and align ourselves with the Aston Martin brand in North America is an amazing opportunity. The car has been competitive all around the world in 2019, and we are delighted to partner with Aston Martin Racing and bring it to North America. The Heart of Racing and Aston Martin have both had a three-year break from the IMSA Championship, so we’ve got a lot of making up to do, but are under no illusion on how tough the IMSA series is with all the great teams and drivers we have to compete against.”
The Heart of Racing will continue its successful fund-raising collaboration with Team Seattle, the ‘Racing for Children’ Guild which accepts donations for Seattle Children’s Hospital. Founded and run by Don and Donna Kitch since 1997, the Guild, dedicated to raising money for pediatric cardiac care, has to date raised over $6 million for the Seattle Children’s Heart Center.
The new team will feature a host of familiar faces in the IMSA paddock supplemented with Aston Martin Racing personnel.
“The Heart of Racing program has always been an inspiring environment to be in for everyone involved,” said James. “This is in addition to the very compelling fund-raising element. Gabe and Yahn’s support and vision is incredible and I’m delighted they decided to bring the program back to the IMSA paddock full-time. We have a close-knit crew, awesome full-time drivers to announce, and a great manufacturer partner. All the ingredients are in place.”
The Florida-based team will make their first appearance at the official pre-season practice, the ROAR Before The 24, from Friday, January 3rd to Sunday, January 5th. Full-season drivers to be announced prior.
Team Seattle, The Heart of Racing, would like to thank you for your patience in awaiting a decision on our participation in the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona and the IMSA WeatherTech Series.
The past months we have been exploring potential funding for the campaign. However, despite our determined efforts we regret to say that we have been unsuccessful in putting a workable package together. While Team Seattle will not be racing at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona, we are still exploring optional fund raising programs for Seattle Children's Hospital Heart Center.
Participation in the 2017 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona would have marked our 20th year racing at this event. As difficult as it is not to attend, as a team and guild of Seattle Children's Hospital, we can take comfort and pride in the two victories in the race and the near six million dollars our guild has generated for The Heart Center at Seattle Children's Hospital.
A most sincere thank you to everyone who has supported this effort over the years. Thank you Gabe Newell for your support this past three years enabling us to take The Team Seattle Guild to the next level—The Heart of Racing.
DETROIT, MI. (May 1, 2016) - The Heart of Racing team is at Detroit for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Quick report from the race.
Chased the front end of the car in first session. Power down understeer mid to exit. Got it better by sessions end. Riberas picked up track quickly. New damper set up for second session settled the front down. We were p4 on old rubber. Fastest car on the track on 56 lap tires. Couple tweaks and the through new tires at car and Mario in for simulated qualifying run. P4. Car 95% there. .5 second over the first 13 cars. WTF!!!! Qualifying next.
MONTEREY, Calif. (May 1, 2016) - The Heart of Racing Porsche drivers Mario Farnbacher (Germany) and Alex Riberas (Spain) won today's running of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix presented by Mazda run at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Farnbacher and Riberas had a spectacular weekend leading every practice, winning the GTD pole and winning the race by leading every lap. The Alex Job Racing prepared No. 23 Heart of Racing Porsche never missed a beat all weekend. From the drop of the green flag Riberas was able to get the power down and lead into Turn 1. The Spaniard amassed an eight-second lead before the races only caution flew on lap 34. The Cardiac Crew took the opportunity to pit the 23 and put Farnbacher behind the wheel. The German got a good restart and drove to the checkered flag for the team's 71st win in sports car competition.
"I jumped in under the full course caution when Alex brought the car in P1," Farnbacher said. "I tried my best to manage the tires. We know the Ferrari is very good over a stint on its tires, so I tried to manage mine as best as I could. It was quite hard to manage my tires with the Ferrari right behind after the restart. It was a great weekend all around. We were fastest every practice and Alex got the pole position. It is very special to win at this track especially to lead every lap from the pole!"
Riberas' first time at Laguna Seca resulted in a win.
"Absolutely fantastic race," Riberas said. "The first win for the Porsche GT3R in IMSA is very special to me. In the first practice we were P1. In the second practice P1. In the third practice P1. In qualifying P1 and of the race P1. At the start I was able to get a good jump at the green and keep the lead. I opened up an eight-second lead until the yellow. Mario got in and did a good job to manage the car to the win over the Ferrari who was close behind. It was a great team weekend. The Alex Job Racing crew did a great job with the Heart of Racing Porsche. It is great to get a win at a track that you drive for the first time!"
"What a day," said Alex Job, team owner. "Alex and Mario did a great job to manage the car at a track that is usually tough on the rear tires of a Porsche race car. The team put a car under them that was fast all weekend and we were able to get the first win for this new Porsche in IMSA. A great effort by everyone this weekend."
The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will travel to Detroit for the Chevrolet SportsCar Classic to run June 3-4, 2016.
SEBRING, Fla. - The Heart of Racing Porsche drivers Mario Farnbacher (Germany), Ian James (Phoenix) and Alex Riberas (Spain) finished fourth in the GTD class of Saturday's rain and caution-filled IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida.
Farnbacher started fourth in the No. 23 The Heart of Racing Porsche and promptly drove into the top three on the first lap. He stayed there for the first 51 laps until he took the GTD lead. From there, he continued to turn laps nearly two seconds faster than the rest of the GTD field until the skies opened up, the rain came and lightning forced officials to red flag the race on lap 63. By this time, Farnbacher had been in the car nearly three hours to start the 12 hour race.
"I had a good start," Farnbacher said. "I just tried to keep my pace at the front. I managed to be second after the start. But, Jeroen [Bleekemolen] was a little bit faster than me at the beginning so I just let him by. It just made sense at the beginning not to fight a lot. After that, it was good to learn what the other cars were doing over distance and to learn what the other cars are doing better and worse in different parts of the track.
"In the rain, it was fun. I've never driven this track in the rain so I am learning every lap. Although, it is tough when you're behind other cars because you can't see because of the spray. As it started to rain harder, it was a bit sketchy on the concrete part of the track - like Turn 17, the start/finish and Turn 1."
After a two hour and 25 minute weather delay, the race went green with Farnbacher in the GTD lead. He made a pit stop three laps later for tires, fuel and a driver change. This is when James got in and he kept the No. 23 Porsche in the top five before handing it over to Riberas on lap 95. From there, the trio drove the Alex Job Racing-prepared Porsche to the GTD lead on lap 175 with two hours remaining and they maintained the top spot for the next 24 laps.
On lap 199, Farnbacher got back in the car for the final 50 minutes of the race and was fifth when the pit stops cycled through. With about 12 minutes remaining, Farnbacher was running third and looked poised to capture the team's first podium of the season. But, on the final corner of the last lap, Farnbacher got passed and finished fourth.
"The crew guys and my teammates did great job," Farnbacher said. "It was a really, really tough race. I'm tired. I drove my butt off. I think during the last 50 minutes in every single turn there was a boom somewhere - we got by somebody. There was some nice, tight racing. But, [we] didn't have enough to win it."
James drove two flawless stints to keep The Heart of Racing near the top of the GTD class leaderboard.
"The team did an amazing job," James said. "We were the only Porsche left there in the fight. For us to be fighting for the win all day long, it was amazing. The crew did not miss a beat on the pit stops. The car ran flawlessly. We just weren't quite quick enough in the end, I guess."
"[During my stint], there was a real mixture really, it went from wet to dry to wet and we had lots of cautions. Someone dropped some oil down during one of my stints and it was pretty tricky out there. Mario and Alex drove amazingly. I think we deserved to be on the podium. But, we came up just one [spot] short."
During Riberas' stints, he had the No. 23 Porsche in contention thanks to a great team effort.
"A big thanks to the entire Alex Job Racing crew today and The Heart of Racing," Riberas said of today's effort. "Everybody did such a great job. The car felt fantastic all the way through the race. These guys did everything they could. They deserved a victory. We were so close. To be honest, I think we can feel really proud of what we did today. We lost a podium right there at the end. Mario and Ian drove like legends. They really are amazing drivers. I'm really proud and happy to be their teammates.
"The car felt really good and it was behaving exactly how we wanted it to. I was leading the race when we pulled away from the Ferrari. It seemed like we had a shot at the victory if we didn't have any cautions. But, that wasn't the case. We had to settle for fourth. But right now, the goal is to win a Championship."
"Mario did the best he could to go for the win," Team Owner Alex Job said. "I told him in one lap, 'Go get those Audi's' and he got them both on the same lap. Unfortunately, one of them got him back on the last corner of the last lap. But, Mario, Ian and Alex all did an awesome job. The No. 23 car was in the hunt for the win all day long. We'll have to come back here next year and go for number 11."
The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship next heads to the west coast April 29 - May 1 for the Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix Powered by Mazda at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
The TUDOR United SportsCar Championship GTD (GT Daytona) Class is made up of some the world's most sophisticated cars, including the Porsche 911 GT America, Ferrari 458, Aston Martin, BMW Z4, Viper SRT and Audi R8. All GTD Class cars run on the spec Continental tire.
News courtesy of Alex Job Racing.