DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - The Heart of Racing Porsche is currently leading the GTD Class at the midway point of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Rolex 24 Hour At Daytona. Mario Farnbacher (Germany), Ian James (Phoenix), Alex Riberas (Spain) and Wolf Henzler (Germany) have all put in time behind the wheel of the 23 Porsche.
The team was able to comeback from an early penalty that put them behind the GTD leader by two laps. With Farnbacher putting in maximum seat time the trio of James, Riberas and Henzler all contributed to working the team strategy and getting the car back to the lead.
"My first stint was pretty easy," Riberas said. "I just focused on getting used to the car since I didn't get many laps in free practice. I just wanted to set some consistent lap times and stay out of trouble. In traffic I took it really easy, zero risk. If someone was diving in I just let them go. I did a couple of 47-second laps when I was on my own. We are in a good position running up toward the front."
Farnbacher put in nearly two full regular season IMSA race runs before the races halfway point.
"I am very tired," Farnbacher said. "It was pretty exhausting. I have done two double stints already. I had to focus to not make any mistakes. It is not easy, especially with all of the traffic. At night with the lights you never know who is coming up on you. You just have to take no risk. It is a little easier to focus when we are running toward the front."
James took over from the German and was putting in consistent lap times in conservation mode.
"My midnight shift was pretty uneventful," James said. "We are still in brake conservation mode. We need to make it to half distance before we change brake pads. The car is getting better. Each pit stop we keep working on it and the car is getting progressively better."
Henzler had to wait over six hours before putting any time in at the wheel of the 23.
"I had to wait quite a long time to get in the car," Henzler said. "The handling wasn't too great. I think the track was a little greasy. Then I had a problem with the radio. I had no radio, I could just hear them on the speaker from the receiver when the rpms were low. I then came into the pits and missed the box. The color of our pit sign was different under this lighting. But the car is ok and we are in a good position."
The 54th running of the Rolex 24 Hour At Daytona is being televised at IMSA.tv from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. At 7 a.m. the coverage will switch over to FOX Sports 1, then over to FOX Sports 2 at 10:30 a.m. and back to FOX Sports 1 for the finish at 1 p.m.
The Heart of Racing accepts donations and pledges for Seattle Children's Hospital at teamseattle.com.
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.
The Heart of Racing
Founded in 1996, by Don and Donna Kitch, Team Seattle and The Heart of Racing is a group of sports car road racing fans, drivers, and corporate partners making a difference in our community by combining two passions: A love of motorsports and a commitment to Seattle Children's Hospital and pediatric cardiac health care nationally. The team uses the promotion and exposure of the racing program to fund raise and increase awareness of the financial needs for quality pediatric medical care. Since inception, Team Seattle has generated over $5.5 million for their cause. The Heart of Racing accepts donations and pledges for Seattle Children's Hospital at teamseattle.com.
Alex Job Racing
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 ten Sebring 12-hour wins.
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship
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 GTB, Lamborghini Huracan, Aston Martin DB9, BMW M6, Viper SRT and Audi R8 LMS. All GTD Class cars run on the spec Continental tire.