TAVERES, Fla. - The Heart of Racing will run drivers Mario Farnbacher (Germany), Ian James (Phoenix), Alex Riberas (Spain) and Wolf Henzler (Germany) in the 50th running of the Rolex 24 Hour At Daytona, January, 30-31.
The team that suffered a DNF at Daytona in January is coming back even stronger for 2016. The No. 23 The Heart of Racing Porsche season regulars James and Farnbacher are being joined by Riberas and Porsche factory driver Wolf Henzler for the twice around the clock classic next month.
James and Farnbacher put some miles on the all-new Porsche 911 GT3 R at Sebring last week and both came away impressed and anxious.
"The new Porsche 911 GT3 R felt pretty good at the first test at Sebring last week," Farnbacher said. "Everybody gave good feedback on the car. At this stage is it difficult to compare all of the new GT3 cars, but I am pretty confident we will be able to compete at the front his year. I am also confident in our driver line-up going into Daytona with the addition of Wolf."
James is impressed with the new Porsche and likes the team's line-up for Daytona.
"Wow, the new Porsche is a great step forward and very rewarding to drive," James said. "I think Porsche have done a great job with the car and the all-around package is very good. I think it will be on an even footing with all the other cars and it will be up to the rules makers to make the cars as close as possible. This year's competition should be intense and rewarding. Having Mario as a teammate for the season and being joined by Alex and Wolf at Daytona means we have a line-up that is equal to any of the competition. The 23 team, crew and drivers, share a camaraderie that few teams on the grid have. We work well as a team, which is essential for success at Daytona."
Riberas is looking forward to the driving the new Porsche on the high banks at Daytona.
"The new Porsche 911 GT3 R is something very special," Riberas said. "The grip level is very much improved over the previous 911 GT America and I'm sure it will be very competitive in Daytona. Ian, Mario and I have driven together for two years and we know what success feels like as a team. Wolf will be the last piece of the puzzle to create what I consider one of the best line-ups I have ever seen. We are ready to win!"
Factory driver Henzler likes the team and the new car.
"The Porsche 911 GT3 R has better performance in terms of braking stability, tire wear and cornering speed," Henzler said. "The new car comes with ABS and traction control which provides better drivability on bumpy tracks, like Sebring, as well as in wet conditions and prolongs tire wear. I am looking forward to driving the new car at Daytona next month. Our driver line-up in the No. 23 car is awesome! Supporting Ian and Mario in their championship is one part of my job. Having Alex in the car makes the line-up perfect. We all know each other which is a big advantage. Alex Job Racing is well known and is always a very competitive team. I don't see any reason why we should not fight for a class win. I am very happy to be part of this program at the Daytona 24."
Team owner, Alex Job, has added Henzler and reenlisted Farnbacher, James and Riberas.
"Our driver line-up is consistent with the last two years," Job said. "Wolf has raced with us before and is a great addition for Daytona. Together with Gabe Newell and Don Kitch, The Heart of Racing team remains intact and a tight-knit group. The team felt the pain of a tough Daytona last year that extended all of the way to Petit Le Mans. If we would have posted a top five finish we would have went into Petit as the points leader. That has remained with the team and is the motivator we are using heading into January."
The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship for 2016 will take to the track for the Roar Before the 24, Jan. 9-11 and then lineup for the 50th running of the Rolex 24 Hour At Daytona Jan. 29-31.