Heart of Racing Team scores third place finishes at COTA

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Heart of Racing Team scores third place finishes at COTA

Austin, TX (19 May 2024) – The Heart of Racing Team secured two podium finishes in GT America powered by AWS at Circuit of the Americas this weekend. Unfortunately Saturday’s Pirelli GT4 America three hour endurance race saw both the No. 24 and No. 26 Aston Martin Vantage GT4s forced to retire ahead of the checkered flag.

Hannah Grisham and Hannah Greenemeier competed in their first weekend in the PRO-AM category after finishing the first two race weekends in the AM category. Grisham qualified for the duo securing a sixth row starting position on Saturday morning.

Greenemeier was first up behind the wheel making her way from eighth to fourth during the first stint of the race. During the team’s first pit stop the No. 26 Aston Martin Vantage GT4 encountered an issue with the air jack system, forcing Grisham two laps down in ninth. Grisham drove up to sixth in just 40-minutes before pitting for a full stop. Unfortunately the issue with the air jack system forced an early end to “The Hannahs” race.

“The race didn’t go as we all hoped,” said Grisham. “It was kind of a tough day for both cars. But I think we have a lot to be proud of overall. The crew put in really hard work and there was nothing anyone could have done to prevent the incidents that happened. I think Hannah and myself showed strong pace this weekend. We have a lot to look forward to and will continue to grow and learn and try to fight for podiums and hopefully wins and the PRO AM class. A big thank you to everyone on the team for all the extra work this weekend.”

“Ultimately this was not the weekend that either car really hoped for,” said Greenemeier. “But there are still lots of positives to take away from the weekend – all the hard work by the team, Hannah and I’s pace even though we’re in the PRO AM class now. I think we showed great, great pace and I mean sometimes you can’t control stuff in racing and that’s what makes it racing. So we’ll move on to VIR and hopefully we get back on track. Thanks to everybody on the team for all their hard work this whole week, and staying out in the hot weather and being troopers for all of it.”

Gray Newell and Roman De Angelis were teamed up in the No. 24 Aston Martin Vantage GT4 for the Pirelli GT4 America endurance race as De Angelis qualified sixth during Saturday morning’s qualifying session.

Newell took the first stint for the pair bringing the Aston Martin Vantage to pit lane just before the one-hour mark handing the wheel to De Angelis in sixth. De Angelis was quick to make his way up to the front of the pack, leading when he made the second pit stop.

Newell was back behind the wheel just before the first caution came out. After the field went back to green Newell was struck by a competitor while leading the PRO-AM category, the contact caused a flat tire as well as light suspension damage. Newell was forced to pit lane to change the left side tires. De Angelis finished the race for the duo securing a fifth place finish for the double points race.

“We ended with fifth, which is good after the day we had,” said De Angelis. “We were in the lead at one point on a great strategy call when we got taken out by somebody. The car had some damage so I was just trying to gather some points and got enough points to finish fifth. We would have been better but that’s life and we’ll move on to VIR. But thank you to the guys at the Heart of Racing Team for sticking through, it’s kind of frustrating to drive around 20 seconds off pace for an hour, but you never know when you need those points.”

Newell pulled double duty this weekend, also competing in GT America powered by AWS. The Washington-state native drove a 2:15.749-second lap to earn a front row starting position for Saturday’s afternoon race.

After starting from second, Newell spent the 40-minute race battling for second after being pushed back to third early on in the race. Newell ultimately crossed the finish line in third just 0.591-seconds behind second place.

Sunday morning saw the second GT America powered by AWS race where Newell started from third. The 40-minute race was filled with caution periods, eliminating a lot of run time and preventing Newell from making a charge to the front, although he was able to claim a podium finish – his seventh of the season.

The Heart of Racing Team’s SRO program will have a two month hiatus from race outings, with a return to action July 19-21 at VIRginia International Raceway.