ELKHART LAKE, Wis. - The Heart of Racing co-drivers Ian James (Phoenix) and Mario Farnbacher (Germany) will start sixth in GTD for Sunday's TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Continental Tire Road Race Showcase at Road America.
Many TUDOR teams were limited in practice yesterday due to the rain. This meant that most teams had to rely on what they learned in this morning's practice session to set-up the car for this afternoon's 15-minute qualifying. The Heart of Racing crew was no different. Following this morning's practice, the crew had to figure out why the No. 23 Heart of Racing Porsche was more than two seconds off the GTD pace.
The team felt that they had the issue resolved when James went out for GTD qualifying. James set his fastest lap (2:11.695) on his last lap of the session, which put them on the third row for Sunday's race.
"This morning, we had some issues in practice," James said after qualifying. "We thought we had cured them. But, we haven't. If anything, we've made them worse. It's disappointing because I go pretty good around here. Luckily, we have one more session - the warm-up - to try to get on top of it before the race tomorrow. It's definitely not over. But, we're definitely in the hole here."
"Qualifying was a test session for us," Farnbacher said. "We had issues in the third practice and we tried something different [for qualifying]. We obviously made it worse. Ian did a great job trying to improve the time we had in practice with a worse car. We have to find what the problem is. In tomorrow's warm-up, I'm pretty confident we will be back at the top again."
Team owner Alex Job has the team doing homework tonight.
"We need to get the 23 Heart of Racing Porsche a little closer to the front," Job said. "Ian did a good job to get us on the third row for the start, but we need a more comfortable car to turn some good race laps. The team will look at the data and get it solved in the warm-up in the morning."
The Continental Tire Road Race Showcase will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 1 starting at 3 p.m. (ET) Aug. 9.