LAKEVILLE, Conn. - Mario Farnbacher (Germany) and Alex Riberas (Spain) had a tough finish in today's IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park.
Farnbacher started the No. 23 The Heart of Racing Porsche from his row three qualifying position. The young German was able to make calculated moves and hand the car over to Riberas in the lead of the GTD class. With 30-minutes remaining the top ten cars in GTD were running nose-to-tail. With 20-minutes to go Riberas was running third and went for second position on the No. 33 Viper driven by Jeroen Bleekemolen. The Porsche made contact with the right rear of the Viper damaging the steering rack and forcing Riberas to retire with 13-minutes to go in the race. The car was classified in 14th on the finishing order.
"The car was running pretty good," Riberas said. "The top runners in GTD were all very close on the track. I saw an opportunity to make a pass for the lead and I went for it. Unfortunately I had contact with the Viper and it damaged our car. It cost some points and a top finish. The team deserved better today. We will be even more motivated to make it up at Road America."
"I had a pretty good stint," Farnbacher said. "The car was not too bad. Everyone was battling the heat in the track with the tires. For a rear engine car we had a pretty good balance. I was able to move the car up to the lead with the help of our race strategy. Alex made a move for the lead and it didn't work out. We are all disappointed, but we come here to win. We will regroup and be even stronger for Road America in two weeks."
"Mario and Alex were having a good day," Alex Job, team owner, said. "Mario had the team in contention and turned it over to Alex at the front. Alex did a great job to keep us up at the front and we were looking good with 20-minutes to go in the race. Race drivers are programed to win and Alex went for it. Sometimes those moves payoff and sometimes they don't. The Heart of Racing is a tight team. We will rally around Alex and come back to Road America stronger than ever."
The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will head to Road America for the Continental Tire Road Race Showcase to run August 5-7.
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.