The Heart of Racing Porsche drivers Mario Farnbacher (Germany) and Alex Riberas (Spain) are ready for this weekend’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix presented by Mazda to run at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, April 29-May 1.
Farnbacher will be joined by Riberas for the remainder of the season with team stalwart Ian James (Phoenix, Az.) joining them for the Watkins Glen and Petiti Le Mans. The European duo are currently third in the GTD points standings. For Riberas it will be a season of learning new tracks and getting used to the different strategies that each race will bring. With the tutelage by Ian James and Don Kitch the team is confident the young duo will be exciting to watch as the series gets into the heart of the schedule. This weekend’s race on the Monterey Peninsula will be two, two-hour split races with the Prototype and GTLM cars running together and the Prototype Challenge and GTD running together.
“This weekend’s race is going to be like a real sprint race just with strategy,” Farnbacher said. “It is a packed field of GTD cars and I am anticipating hard fights at every turn. Laguna has traditionally been a good track for Porsche. So I have positive thoughts for the race and the new car. I am excited to partner with Alex for the season. We are good friends and he is a fast driver. Ian is a big part of the team and great stabilizing force. The three of us will work hard this season to get top finishes in the Heart of Racing Porsche.”
Between races the drivers visited with patients at Children’s Hospital in Seattle. “We had the opportunity to visit with Bella and Tanner at the Children’s Hospital in Seattle,” he continued. “I am hoping to say hi to them on live TV from victory lane. It’s important for us to support and help them as they wait for heart transplants. Every lap is a win for the kids!”
Riberas is ready for the challenge that the remainder of the WeatherTech Championship season will bring.
“It’s clearly something different for me, but I’m really excited to start this part of the season,” Riberas said. “In the shorter races, drivers are more aggressive and at the same time mistakes are much more expensive. The biggest challenge for me will be to learn all these new race tracks which I have never driven before. Hopefully Mario and Ian will give me a few tips and we will be competitive enough to fight for the victory at Laguna. I am sure the Porsche will be strong in the shorter races. At Sebring we had great pace during the last part of the race and that gives me confidence going to Laguna this weekend.
Riberas on driving Farnbacher, “Mario is like the brother I never had. We get along extremely well and it’s a dream for me to race alongside him this entire season. He is one of the quickest drivers I have ever seen and he already has some experience in the USA. I hope I can learn a lot from him and hopefully that helps us to get on top of our game. I am also looking forward to having Ian’s input as well. He is a great mentor and teammate.”
“Mario and Alex are two of the youngest drivers in the series,” Team Owner Alex Job said. “Alex will have to do his homework and be open minded to input from Ian and Don Kitch on learning all of the new tracks he is going to run. But, he has proven to be a great team player and I think we are in for an exciting year in the Heart of Racing Porsche.”
Source. Kyle Chura/Alex Job Racing