The Heart of Racing Scores Second Place in WEC Season Opener

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The Heart of Racing Scores Second Place in WEC Season Opener

2024 FIA World Endurance Championship Doha, Qatar February 28th - March 2nd 2024 Photo: Michele Scudiero / Drew Gibson Photography

DOHA, Qatar (3 March 2024) – The Heart of Racing team kicked off the FIA World Endurance Championship this weekend at Lusail International Circuit with a second place finish. Ian James, Alex Riberas and Daniel Mancinelli teamed up behind the wheel of the No. 27 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 earning their best finish in WEC to date.

The Heart of Racing No. 27 Aston Martin prepared for the 1,812km enduro with three free practice sessions before qualifying on Friday. Riberas set the fastest lap time on Friday morning’s free practice session with a 1:54.964 second lap.

James qualified for the Heart of Racing team Friday afternoon, scoring the fastest lap time of qualifying with a 1:55.251 second lap. James then moved on to the hyperpole to determine the top ten starting positions, where the Team Principal solidified a third row starting position.

James was first behind the wheel of the Aston Martin Vantage GT3 driving back to back stints and moving his way from fifth to second before handing the car to Mancinelli. On lap 155, the Italian made a pass for the lead as Heart of Racing led the first-ever WEC race to feature the two-class (Hypercar + LMGT3) field.

“This is a great day for the Heart of Racing and the new Vantage GT3,” said James. “We fought for the win all day long and we ended up with second, and we are very happy with that. Now we move on to Imola with some good points in the bag. The strategy was good, everyone in the team played their part and they did a great job with the car.”

Mancinelli and Riberas took turns behind the wheel for the remainder of the race staying consistently in the top three positions and leading a total 41 laps.

“Very happy for the second place we got for the first race of the season,” said Mancinelli. “It had been tough to manage tires and the traffic with hypercars but the Heart of Racing team did an excellent job both from a crew and drivers side. We worked hard to be at the top, I have to say everything worked well. Now I’m looking forward to the Imola race next month!”

Riberas finished the final two hours of the race crossing the finish line in second while closing the gap to the leader.

“I’m definitely happy with the way we started the season,” said Riberas. “To start the championship on the podium is a dream come true for the whole team and great momentum to carry over to Italy. It’s a fantastic way to show the appreciation we have for the crew and rest of the team that did a tremendous job the whole time we were in Doha. We have a great package with the Aston Martin Vantage GT3, the team and the driver lineup. I’m very very happy and looking forward to the rest of the year.”

The Heart of Racing Team will be back in action with its IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship program on March 16th with the Twelve Hours of Sebring. The next WEC race will take place at the Italian Imola Circuit in April.