The Heart of Racing Set for FIA WEC Season Opener

Racing to End Alzheimer’s to be represented in the Porsche Owners Club
February 28, 2024
50 Track Dates Set for FCP Euro Proving Grounds at Lime Rock Park
March 1, 2024
Show all

The Heart of Racing Set for FIA WEC Season Opener

2024 FIA World Endurance Championship Prologue Doha, Qatar 23rd - 25th February 2024 Photo: Michele Scudiero / Drew Gibson Photography

DOHA, Qatar (28 February 2024) – The Heart of Racing will make its first start at Lusail International Circuit this weekend in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) Qatar Airways Qatar 1812 KM season opener.

The team prepared for the 2024 WEC campaign with a productive Prologue pre-season test at the track Monday and Tuesday, and is looking forward to making a solid start to the year with a straightforward run to open the championship.

Ian James, Alex Riberas and Daniel Mancinelli made the most of the Prologue test, which had 14 hours of track time on offer for the trio to learn about the new Aston Martin Vantage GT3 ahead of the platform’s WEC debut.

“We have had a couple of good test days here at the prologue,” said James. “This is the first time a full grid of GT3 cars have been running under WEC rule set and with torque sensors on all the cars and although all the manufacturers were running different strategies on performance targets it was very refreshing to be out on track and get the feel with all the cars of a similar pace. Lets see what happens come the race but the Aston is well suited to this high grip smooth track so looking forward to the weekend ahead.”

The race not only marks the first-ever WEC event with a new two-class format, it is also staging its debut event at the Lusail International Circuit. The Heart of Racing team will battle 17 other LMGT3 entries on the 5.419km circuit for 1,812km with a 10 hour time cap. 19 Hypercar entries will also be on track to fight for overall honors to make for a robust 37 car field.

“I’m very excited to start the 2024 season with Heart of Racing and my mates Ian and Alex,” said Mancinelli. “This year will be with the Aston Martin Vantage GT3 which we all had the opportunity to drive already. I’ve never been to Lusail before, but the Prologue was the perfect occasion to discover the racetrack. Mentally I’m very focused and I was able to train a lot during the winter break. I’m looking forward to bringing back home strong points for the first race to start the season in the best way.”

The Heart of Racing team looks to build on its momentum from last season where the trio scored a third place finish during the season finale in Bahrain.

“Feeling extremely grateful to be a small part of this very special project,” said Riberas. “To race in the World Championship is already a dream come true, but on top of it, to do it with such a great team and such great teammates it’s something I never thought of dreaming about. I’m sure it will be a very competitive field with 18 cars and nine outstanding manufacturers, but the team is full of very special, very talented individuals. I can’t wait to get to work.”

Most recently James and Riberas debuted in the Bathurst 12H scoring a second place class finish.

The Qatar Airway Qatar 1812 KM will hold qualifying on Friday March 1st at 8:00 AM ET. The season will kick off on Saturday when the green flag waves at 3:00 AM ET. Watch all 1,812km of action on MotorTrend and MAX in the United States or the FIA WEC TV app.