A pair of sixth place finishes for the Heart of Racing Team

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A pair of sixth place finishes for the Heart of Racing Team

Monterey, Calif. (12 May, 2024) – The Heart of Racing leaves WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca with two sixth place finishes in both GTD PRO and GTD in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

Ross Gunn and Mario Farnbacher teamed up for their first sprint race of the season in the No. 23 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 in the GTD PRO category. Farnbacher qualified for the pair during a late afternoon session on Saturday, securing a third row starting position.

Farnbacher was first up behind the wheel on Sunday driving the first stint. The German driver pitted just 30 minutes into the race to go off strategy hoping a lucky yellow would move the team farther up the field as the Aston Martin Vantage GT3 is not at the same level as its GTD PRO competitors. This stop put Gunn behind the wheel for the remainder of the two hour and 40-minute race.

“The weekend was difficult, I would say,” said Farnbacher. “I mean, we started from zero where other cars had a test here since the repave, so I think that we did a good job. I think we needed a bit more time to work with the front of the car, that was one of the limiting factors. We did the best we could and we got points, which was the main goal. We basically just drove with the flow, but ultimately we are lacking speed a little bit.”

Gunn was in the driver’s seat for just 16 laps when a caution came out which unfortunately put the No. 23 team back on strategy with the rest of the GTD PRO class. Gunn worked his way up to third before his second pit stop on lap 70. The English driver crossed the finish line in sixth after spending the final 49 laps in the position.

“First of all, it was a really fun weekend driving a track as high grip as this,” said Gunn. “We’ve become very used to a kind of low grade dusty surface here. But to come here and experience lap times three to four seconds faster is really good fun. The race kind of played out as we expected. Great pit stops and great strategy by the guys here at Heart of Racing Team. It really gave us a chance to fight for the top five. We’ve got some work to do and a few things to look at but this team has a lot of character and I’m sure that will come back stronger in Detroit.”

Roman De Angelis and Spencer Pumpelly joined forces once more after co-driving for the first time in Long Beach in April. Pumpelly qualified the No. 27 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 securing a fourth place in class starting position for the duo.

Pumpelly drove the No. 27 Heart of Racing GTD entry for the first 37 laps and was able to keep the Aston Martin Vantage GT3 in the top five ahead of handing it over to De Angelis.

“It was great working with the Heart of Racing Team and Roman again,” said Pumpelly. “I really appreciate the opportunity and how hard everyone works to give us a good car. I think there were some things out of our control that put us back today. Despite a great effort from Roman there at the end, he just got beat up by some competitors and we had to replace parts on pit road. A big thanks to everyone at the Heart of Racing Team for having me.”

A caution came out just two laps after De Angelis took the wheel. De Angelis had a run in with another car which took off the left side mirror just before pitting for the last time on 76 where the team was forced to replace the drivers side door. On lap 97 De Angelis was forced off track by a GTP car putting the Canadian driver in eighth, but De Angelis was able to make up two spots in the final 21 laps.

“I wish I could say it was a great day here at Laguna Seca, but it’s probably one of the most difficult races I’ve ever driven,” said De Angelis. “We seemed to just not be able to catch a break today, with issues with tire pressures, our camera going out, and contact with other cars. I’m more disappointed in not being able to get the team a good result after this many weekends of bad luck. I just hope that at some point our luck changes, once again, thank you to the guys for hanging in there with us. They did everything they could, but it was a frustrating day. It will make our next good result even better.”

The Heart of Racing Team’s IMSA program will be back in action on the streets of Detroit with only the No. 23 Aston Martin Vantage GT3, as the GTD class will next return to action at Watkins Glen for the traditional 6 Hour race.