Daytona, Fla. (17 January 2023) – 2022 GTD Champions The Heart of Racing (THoR) will look to open the 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship campaign with the series’ opening round at Daytona International Speedway this month.
Preparations for the Rolex 24 At Daytona will launch this weekend with the annual Roar Before the 24, which features three days of practice ahead of Sunday afternoon’s qualifying session to set the grid for the 61st Rolex 24 At Daytona (1:20 pm ET NBC; flag to flag coverage on Peacock TV).
With a mixture of familiar and new faces on The Heart of Racing driver roster, the team will once again field two entries racing in GTD PRO and GTD.
Alex Riberas (ES) and Ross Gunn (UK) will return to the No. 23 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 GTD PRO entry and will be joined by David Pittard (UK) for the 24-hour classic. Pittard most recently ran in the 2022 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) season with Aston Martin, earning a win at the 1000 miles of Sebring in March of 2022.
With two wins (Acura Long Beach Grand Prix, Sahlen’s 6 Hours of the Glen) and four podium finishes on the season, the No. 23 Aston Martin team raced to fourth in the 2022 GTD PRO class standings. Riberas and Gunn finished fourth at Daytona and will look to open the new season with a run to the podium.
Reigning IMSA GTD champion Roman De Angelis (CA) will return to the No. 27 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 with a new co-driver this year, as he is joined by 2022 FIA WEC LMGTE-AM champion Marco Sorensen (DK). THoR team principal Ian James (UK) and Aston Martin factory driver Darren Turner (UK) will return to the cockpit of the No. 27 Aston Martin for the Rolex 24.
De Angelis scored wins at Watkins Glen International and Canadian Tire Motorsports Park last season, backing those results up with three second-place finishes (Raceway at Belle Isle Park, Lime Rock Park, and VIRginia International Raceway) on his way to the title.
Sorensen enters 2023 riding the wave of last season’s FIA WEC LMGTE-AM Championship win as well as victories in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and 6 Hours of Fuji on board an Aston Martin Vantage. The 61st Rolex 24 outing will be his third, having debuted in the 2017 edition with a run to 12th in an Aston Martin and taking 10th in 2022 on board a Corvette.
UK native Turner also readies for the Rolex with considerable momentum, having taken second in the British GT Championship in a GT4 spec Aston Martin Vantage on the strength of wins at Silverstone and Brands Hatch, while team principal Ian James will look to add to his remarkable roster of results that included a run to victory with the team at Watkins Glen last year.
De Angelis and James have already got one race under their belts this year, having contested the 24H of Dubai this past weekend as part of the 24H SERIES powered by Hankook, where THoR placed third in class.
Driver Quote Board:
Ian James – “Having both cars and crews together again to compete at Daytona creates an exciting energy within the team. Our goal this year is to keep developing our program and strive to always execute at a higher level than the last race. The Rolex 24 is an event that puts every team to the test.”
Roman De Angelis – “It’s always exciting to start a new season, a new chance. The team finished 2022 on a high note with winning the GTD Championship so I am excited to use that momentum to launch us into the Rolex 24.”