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Heart of Racing Sweeps Both GTD Classes at Lime Rock Park

Words by Matthew Boyce

Images by IMSA/Jake Galstad/LAT Images

Saturday's IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT-only FCP Euro Northeast Grand Prix was swept by Heart of Racing. Both the No. 23 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 in the GTD-Pro class and the No. 27 Aston Martin in the GTD class claimed class victories at the Connecticut "bull-ring." Alex Riberas piloted the No. 23 GTD-Pro class Aston Martin to the win ahead of the No. 14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 of Ben Barnicoat by a margin of 0.336 seconds with all four of the top GTD-Pro class runners racing each other very close on track. But, with his tires fading and with very little opportunity to overtake, Riberas held off the GTD-Pro class field for the victory. The win comes not only as the teams first victory of the season, but their first podium as well.

The No. 23 briefly handed over the lead after the first round of pit stops occured. However, the team elected to keep then driver Ross Gunn under the first full course caution of the race. Gunn retained the lead and held it until the second round of pit stops where he handed driving duties over to co-driver Riberas. Riberas then held on to secure the victory. Rounding out the podium in the GTD-Pro class was the No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R of Klaus Bachler and Patrick Pilet, who held off a hard-charging Jordan Taylor to secure the podium spot. Taylor, driving the No. 3 Corvette Racing C8.R GTD finished in fourth in class.

While Riberas was contesting for the overall win at the front of the field, Heart of Racing's second entry was battling to stay in front of the GTD field. Marco Sorensen was able to fend off two charging Porsches to secure the GTD class victory with co-driver Roman De Angelis. The win came at the misfortune of GTD points leaders Paul Miller Racing, who suffered a drive thru penalty after colliding with another car on pit lane during the first round of pit stops. Madison Snow served the penalty which put the car well down the class running order. Snow and co-driver Bryan Sellers recovered to finish in eighth position, but lost a huge piece of their GTD championship lead in the process.

Coming in second in the GTD class was the No. 92 Kellymoss with Riley Porsche of Julien Andlauer and Alec Udell. Andlauer pressured the Heart of Racing Aston Martin through the majority of the final 30 minutes of the race, but was no able to make the pass. In the closing laps of the race, Andlauer fell under attack from the No. 77 Wright Motorsports Porsche of Trent Hindman, who made a spirited drive through the field after taking over from co-driver Alan Brynjolffson. Hindman and Brynjolffson would have to settle for third in class ahead of the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW of Robby Foley and Patrick Gallagher. The No. 78 Forte Racing by US RaceTronics Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2 of Loris Spinelli and Misha Goikhberg recovered from an early race drive-thru penalty to secure fifth in the GTD class.

The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship now sets its sights on the longest track on the calendar, Road America. The event takes place August 3rd thru the 6th.


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