Shizuoka, Japan (12 September 2023) – The Heart of Racing (HOR) team completed its third World Endurance Championship event this weekend, scoring a seventh place finish at Fuji Speedway.
The weekend saw three wet practice sessions and 15 minute qualifying session leading up to what turned out to be a dry six hour race on Sunday. The No. 98 Aston Martin Vantage GTE started from the second row after the team principal Ian James qualified the Aston Martin fourth, setting a fast lap time of 1:38.881.
The 6 Hours of Fuji began with a quick and brief safety car due to an LMGTE AM car going off in turn one on the first lap. James was first behind the wheel of the Aston Martin completing a clean first two stints. On lap 64 James passed the Aston Martin to Daniel Mancinelli. The Italian worked his way up to sit second before Alex Riberas took the wheel for the remaining two hours of the race. Riberas was able to score personal best lap times in all three sectors in a four lap period with 40 laps remaining in the race. Riberas brought the car home across the line in seventh.
“Solid race from our side,” said Riberas. “We executed everything very well. We made no mistakes, pit stops were clean, strategy was good, but unfortunately the pace was just not there for us this weekend. So seventh place was all we could fight for. Overall it was a good weekend. I had a lot of fun at Fuji. It is one of my favorite circuits and now we are looking forward to Bahrain. Hopefully we will make another step forward as a team and continue to build for the next season.”
The Heart of Racing team will compete in the final WEC event of the season in November at the 8 Hours at Bahrain. Until then the team will finish the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and championships in SRO America’s GT America and GT4 America series in October.