James, Farnbacher and Riberas poised for full 24
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Team Seattle-The Heart of Racing driver Mario Farnbacher (Ansbach, Germany) qualified on the seventh row in GTD for the 53rd running of the Rolex 24 Hours At Daytona Jan. 24-25.
The only three-driver team in the GTD field, Farnbacher, Ian James (Phoenix, Ariz.) and Alex Riberas (Barcelona, Spain) are focused on the full 24, not the 15-minutes of qualifying. Farnbacher had a quick start to the session putting in the fastest time just two laps into the quarter hour run. The session was interrupted with a car stranded on the track at the entry to Turn One. On the restart, the rest of the 19-car GTD field began to show their muscle. The No. 23 Team Seattle-Heart of Racing Porsche will start the twice-around-the-clock classic from the seventh row based upon a qualifying lap time of 1:48.813.
"In the Roar, we had quite a few problems - technical, electricity," Farnbacher said. "[Because of that] we lost a lot of track time so we are a little bit behind in our setup. We're still working on that. In the second practice, we had quite a few problems with car. We're getting closer - a little bit better. Hopefully we'll get the last few issues [resolved]. I'm really confident we'll be ready for the race. In the past, we never really had a [good] qualifying car, but we had a good race car. As you know at this race, the fastest car does not always win. The car that is the most consistent and the driver that stays out of trouble [usually does well]."
Alex Job, team owner, is looking for the prize on Sunday afternoon.
"Being a second off of pole at Daytona is big margin," Job said. "Mario, Ian and Alex have a good handle on the race car and are focused on performing over the full race distance. We believe that the Porsche will show its strength over full runs."
The TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Rolex 24 At Daytona will run Jan. 22-25. The start of the race will be broadcast Jan. 24 on FOX starting at 2 p.m. and continuing on the network until 4 p.m. ET. FOX Sports 2 will take over from 4 - 8 p.m. Then over to FOX Sports 1 from 8 - 10 p.m. From 10 p.m. - 7 a.m. it will stream live at IMSA.com and return to FOX Sports 1 for the finish from 7 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. IMSA Radio will carry the entire broadcast, link at IMSA.com.
The TUDOR United SportsCar Championship GTD (GT Daytona) Class is made up of some the world's most sophisticated cars, including the Porsche 911 GT America, Ferrari 458, Aston Martin, BMW Z4, Viper SRT and Audi R8. All GTD Class cars run on the spec Continental tire.
Alex Job Racing is one of the most successful teams in sports car racing with 70 wins (since 1995); including two Rolex 24 GT Class wins in 1999 and 2013. This record is supported by 48 pole positions and 106 podium finishes. The team has won five championships (GTC 2013, 2012, GT in 2004, 2003 and 2002) complimented by their two GT class wins at Le Mans. The team also boasts nine Sebring 12-hour wins.