Sebring, Fla. (13 March 2023) – After starting the 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship off with a win at Daytona, The Heart of Racing (HOR) looks ahead to the second round of IMSA WeatherTech competition at the Mobile 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. The March 16-18 Super Sebring weekend will include the World Endurance Championship (WEC) 1000 Miles of Sebring on Friday ahead of IMSA’s day-to-night classic on Saturday.
The Rolex 24 hour lineup of Alex Riberas, Ross Gunn, and David Pittard will once again be paired in the No. 23 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 to take on the 3.74-mile Florida circuit. The trio led 208 laps at the Rolex 24 At Daytona in January until a suspension issue resulted in the team finishing seventh in GTD PRO competition.
Pittard will make his Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring debut, but already knows his way around the circuit having won the 2022 WEC 1000 Miles of Sebring in an Aston Martin Vantage. The trio will be hunting down a podium result on Saturday to gain championship momentum in the second event of the IMSA 2023 season.
HOR’s Rolex 24 Hour winning lineup of Ian James, Roman De Angelis and Marco Sorenson will combine in the GTD class No. 27 Aston Martin Vantage GT3.
Like Pittard, Sorensen is no stranger to Sebring, having run the WEC 1000 Miles of Sebring in 2022 and scoring a runner-up finish. De Angelis and James have competed at the IMSA twelve-hour event together for the past three years, highlighted by runs to second (2020) and third (2021) as the duo look to add another significant trophy to their roster again this weekend.
The Super Sebring weekend will open with practice on Thursday ahead of Friday’s qualifying session to set the grid. Catch live coverage of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring on Peacock TV starting at 10:00 am ET. Continuing coverage of all twelve hours will be on Peacock, with the final six hours also being covered on USA Network beginning at 4:30 pm ET.
The Heart of Racing Sebring 12 Hour Quoteboard:
Roman De Angelis: “Coming from a win at Daytona is amazing for the whole Heart of Racing team. Like Daytona, Sebring is a tough race to win and a lot of it comes down to luck. We’ve had success with podium finishes at Sebring in previous years so I’m hoping we can keep the ball rolling and hold the lead in points. It’s important we keep our eyes on the long term goal: the championship.”
Marco Sorensen: “We have the same goal as you always do when you go racing, and that’s to win! Sebring is a more difficult track to race on, but I’m sure we will have a good chance. This will be my first Mobil 1 Twelve Hours start, but I’ve competed at Sebring in WEC. IMSA and WEC are quite different, in IMSA you have more restarts and it creates harder racing.”
Ian James: “The team made a big focus in the off season to get a better start to the year in endurance races which paid off at Daytona. We hope to continue that momentum into Sebring. We have had a couple of podium finishes there, just haven’t made it to the top step yet. Our goal is to continue building on what we have and I think if we just keep that as our focus everything else will fall into place.”
Alex Riberas: “To be honest, right after the Rolex 24 we were all eager to get back on the horse, especially after the potential we were able to display. I think T17 is the biggest challenge without a doubt at Sebring. Everyone knows in Sebring you have to respect the bumps and going through T17 will quickly remind you why. It’s fast, extremely bumpy and to top it off you exit right on the wall, if you do it right. You can go from hero to zero in a quick second. I love it because this corner would be repaved in any other country, while here it’s just part of the history.”
Ross Gunn: “ We had a difficult Daytona finish in the No. 23 car, but in general we had a positive performance from everybody so we’re looking to get back on track at Sebring.We are excited to have David back for Sebring. He performed very well here last year in WEC, winning in the GTE-AM car, so we are very excited to welcome him as a teammate. We had a very positive test at Sebring recently. It’s not usually a circuit that favors the strengths of our car, but we will be working hard to make sure we can bring as much performance as we possibly can.”
David Pittard: “From a performance perspective, I am very happy with how Daytona went, and I believe we can carry the Sebring weekend. From the No. 23 car’s perspective, we have a new engineer and I’m new to the car, but our pace at Daytona showed that these changes were seamless so there is a great vibe on the team headed into Sebring. Daytona’s final result wasn’t what we had hoped for. We still scored maximum points at the six and twelve hour marks, so we are close to the endurance championship lead. Scoring consistently across this race as well as aiming for another win at Sebring is my main focus. The Heart of Racing cars have a lot of pace. Because of this, I think both car crews can push each other to learn faster and build two competitive cars to fight for points and wins at Sebring!”
About The Heart of Racing
The Heart of Racing races to raise funds and awareness for Seattle Children’s Cardiology Research. The team competes internationally with concurrent campaigns in IMSA, SRO, Formula Drift and the 24H SERIES. Last season The Heart of Racing won the IMSA GTD Championship title in the No. 27 Aston Martin Vantage GT3. The Heart of Racing team hosted their first all-female driver shootout in November of 2022, bringing to the team Hannah Grisham and Rianna O’Meara-Hunt for the 2023 SRO GT4 America season. To contribute to The Heart of Racing’s fundraising efforts please visit: https://give.seattlechildrens.org/fundraiser/3642390