DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Team Seattle-The Heart of Racing drivers Mario Farnbacher (Ansbach, Germany), Ian James (Phoenix, Az) and Alex Riberas (Barcelona, Spain) are happy with the way that the Roar Before the 24 test went this weekend at Daytona International Speedway. The team will return to the World Center of Racing Jan. 22-25 for the 53rd running of the Rolex 24 Hours At Daytona.
The test for the No. 23 Team Seattle-Heart of Racing Porsche ended abruptly this afternoon when Riberas backed into the Bus Stop Turn wall. The team decided to end the weekend and get to work on repairing the minor body damage to the No. 23. The team was able to log a fast lap of 1:47.970 during the weekend that puts them in the top 15 on the speed chart of the 19 car GTD class field.
Farnbacher was happy to work through a few testing issues before the big race in two weeks.
"We had a few problems during the test, but we are getting better," Farnbacher said. "The Roar is for testing and it is also good to have the problems at the test and not in the race. I think we will have to wait until qualifying for the race to see exactly where everyone is on the speed chart. This year's field is definitely really tight. It's going to be a hard race in two weeks."
James likes the progression of the team.
"We were a new team last year here at Daytona," James said. "This year we have the same drivers back and the same crew. Having that consistency is paying off. The communication is very clean and we get things done very efficiently. We had a good weekend of testing, Alex had his incident, but the team will have us back up to pace come the race."
Riberas likes the way the Porsche handled over a long stint.
"The test went great," Riberas said. "We had many things to try and despite some obstacles we got the information we wanted. It's difficult to say where we stand with the Porsche. From what we see in the test there might be other cars which are better for one timed lap. On the other side, I think we are extremely strong when it comes to long runs. The driver's quality is incredibly high in the TUDOR Championship, but, in my opinion, the level stepped up for this 24 hour. All the big motorsport names suddenly came up together to create one of the most competitive fields. Getting that Rolex is going to be a huge challenge. We are all very excited."
Alex Job, team owner, has a little work to do over the two weeks on the 23.
"We were having a really good testing weekend until Alex went into the wall," Job said. "If it were a race weekend we would have been on the track in the morning, but we decided to pack it up and take it back to the shop. We went through most of our set-up progressions and we and we will be ready to race in two weeks."
The TUDOR United SportsCar Championship 53rd running of the Rolex 24 Hour At Daytona January 22-25.