DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - The Heart of Racing Porsche drivers Mario Farnbacher Germany), Ian James (Phoenix), Alex Riberas (Spain) and Wolf Henzler (Germany) put in three days behind the wheel of The Heart of Racing 911 GT3R at the Roar Before the 24 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship test in preparation for the 50th running of the Rolex 24 Hour At Daytona, January, 30-31.
The all-new No. 23 The Heart of Racing Porsche GT3R was well received by all four drivers this weekend. The team put in a fast lap of 1:48 putting them right in the thick of the ultra-competitive GTD category. The time has the team confident as they prepare for the twice-around-the-clock classic at the end of the month.
"The overall aero package on the new 911 GT3R allows you to brake later," Farnbacher said. "It is noticeable that we have more grip, which makes it fun to drive. We seem a little down on top speed so we have to improve that aspect. It's a proper field in GTD. I am sure we will be good. We always run strong in the races!"
"Generally the new Heart of Racing car is very comfortable to drive around Daytona," James said. "The increased overall downforce is a huge benefit in the infield and especially into the braking areas.
The AJR managed 23 team is as good as any in the class. So, BOP allowing, we will be at the front. With such a depth of good teams in the class the race is going to be amazing and rewarding for whoever comes out on top."
"The new car is a huge upgrade from last year," Henzler said. "With the ABS brakes and traction control it really helps tire life and overall drivability of the car. The ABS helps the turn in of the car into the corner and makes the new Porsche a lot more stable under braking and over the bumps. The new engine is also a big improvement. Everybody has a new GT3 car, so it is hard to judge how the competition will be for the race. We will have to wait and see."
Team owner, Alex Job, is pleased with the work The Heart of Racing team accomplished over the three days at Daytona.
"We had the good fortune of really no big car issues," Job said. "That is a big help with a new car as we're able to go through our laundry list of handling and tuning items. Ian, Mario, Wolf and Alex were all able to log a lot of laps in the new Heart of Racing Porsche and that makes us feel good heading into the race."
The Job led team will now prepare for the 50th running of the Rolex 24 Hour At Daytona to take place January 30-31.
The Heart of Racing accepts donations and pledges to support pediatric care for Seattle Children's Hospital at teamseattle.com.
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.
The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTD (GT Daytona) Class is made up of some the world's most sophisticated cars, including the Porsche 911 GT3 R, Ferrari 488, Lamborghini Huracan, Aston Martin, BMW M6, Viper SRT and Audi R8. All GTD Class cars run on the spec Continental tire.