THE TEAM MADE A RETURN TO IMSA WeatherTech SPORTSCAR CHAMPIONSHIP IN 2020 AND GAINED MOMENTUM ALL SEASON LONG FINISHING WITH TWO PODIUM IN THE LAST FOUR RACES
The Heart of Racing team returns to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar GTD Championship for 2021 with their #23 Aston Martin Vantage GT3. After a shorter off-season compared to normal, the team will make their 2021 debut appearance at the ROAR Before the Rolex 24, January 21-24, a week prior to returning for the Rolex 24 At Daytona, January 27-31.
After a strong run of results at the end of last year’s Championship, the team is aiming to carry the momentum into 2021. Drivers Ian James, Roman DeAngelis and Aston Martin works driver Darren Turner return to the cockpit for the legendary 24-hour Daytona race, and are joined by Aston Martin works driver Ross Gunn, FIA WEC’s ‘Sensation of the Year’ award winner last year who has been added to The Heart of Racing team’s driver roster.
At the ROAR Before the Rolex 24 last year, the team had only had possession of the car for less than two weeks. The team faced a lot of quick and fast learning but as the season went on, the results dramatically improved, finishing with a season-best second-place finish at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. The team is ready and relishes the challenge of the year ahead to make a run for the Championship.
Alongside racing last year and keeping them busy throughout the holiday season, the team have been making great strides with their second mission, raising support and awareness for Team Seattle, a 501(c)3 Guild of Seattle Children’s Hospital. The total money raised to date has reached over $7million and the team look forward to continuing their success with this mission in 2021 as well.
Roman De Angelis is looking forward to returning at Daytona: “I’m so happy, honored and mostly excited to be back with the Heart of Racing at Daytona. We had such an amazing last year with 2 podiums and such a strong connection with the team by the end of the season. I’m very happy to be returning to the track to work with this amazing group of people and build on last years’ results for a great Rolex 24 Hours At Daytona. I can’t thank them enough for having me back!”
For Ian James, he is looking to the team’s momentum: Last year was a lot of learning and refining the team and car. Towards the end of the season we made some really great strides and became a podium threat. Since then we have been working tirelessly in the short off-season to be prepared for the year ahead. Thanks to Gabe’s continued support we will be looking to operate at our maximum potential and enjoy the tremendous opportunity on and off the track!
Familiar with the team, Darren Turner can’t wait to get the season underway: “Straight into the Daytona 24-hour, a perfect way to start 2021. We finished last season on a high with a strong race in Sebring, narrowly missing out on the team’s first win. We need to carry that momentum from the start at the Roar and hopefully it will put us in a strong position for 24-hours of racing. The Aston Martin Vantage GT3 will be very competitive for the season ahead, and a good result at Daytona will really get the year started.”
“I’m incredibly excited to be joining The Heart of Racing team for 2021”, said Ross Gunn. “The Rolex 24 At Daytona is the biggest race of the year for the team and a huge challenge for the drivers and crew. The team really started unlocking the full potential of the Aston Martin Vantage GT3 last year and I’m sure they will continue to do so going into Daytona!”
Excerpt and images courtesy of The Heart of Racing
Photographer & Editor