ALTON, Va. - The Heart of Racing driversMario Farnbacher (Germany) and Alex Riberas (Spain) drove the No. 23 The Heart of Racing Porsche to a fifth place finish in today's running of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Michelin GT Challenge at Virginia International Raceway (VIR).
Farnbacher had the wheel of the 23 at the start of the two-hour-and-forty-five minute race this afternoon. The team decided to give-up their sixth place starting position in GTD and go to the back of the field to take new Continental Tires. At the drop of the green the young German was making up positions and into the top five. When he turned the Porsche over to Riberas he was in eighth place. The Spaniard pitted with 35-minutes to go in the race for a last stop and allowed the rear wheels to spin while the car was in the air which garnered a drive-thru penalty. Other teams received penalties and had over heating issues which helped the Alex Job Racing team get a hard earned top five finish on the day.
"If you would have told me this morning that we would start from the back of the field and finish top five, I would have said no way," Riberas said. "We are in survival mode out there on the track. We are down on speed on the straights, so that makes it tough. Fifth place feels like a victory today."
"It is a good result for the team today," Farnbacher said. "We had a lot go on in the race. We had the drive-thru for the spinning wheels and we started at the back of the field. We may have been able to get P4, but still a good result. Most of the championship contenders finished behind us, so that is a positive. We need some help with the balance of performance and we can have a good fight on the track for the last two races."
"After the last three races that we have had I think we were due a little luck today," Alex Job, team owner said. "We made the decision to start on new tires at the back so we were in the hole from the start. Mario and Alex did a good job, we had a little mistake on the pit stop with the spinning wheels, but in the end it really didn't hurt us too bad. You can still see how we are down on straight line speed, but we were able to make the best of it today with a top five finish."
The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will travel to the Circuit of the Americas for the Lone Star Le Mans weekend, September 14-17.
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.