Mario Farnbacher (Germany), Alex Riberas (Spain) and Ian James (Phoenix, Az.) drove The Heart of Racing Porsche to a podium finish in today’s running of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen.
The Heart of Racing Porsche team was awarded the pole position after the Stevenson Audi was found to have a ride height violation after yesterday’s qualifying session. Farnbacher used the opportunity to lead the first segments of the six hour race. As pit stops cycled through the team continued to run consistently among the top three positions throughout the race. James and Riberas both spent time at the front of the GTD field during their time in the car. With one hour to go the team was in sixth with Farnbacher at the wheel. He made steady progress passing cars when he got to the Viper of Jeroen Bleekemolen. Just as two LMPC cars were exiting Turn 1 battling for positon, the Viper had to hesitate, that is when Farnbacher went for the opening to take the final step on the GTD podium.
“We really had nothing for the Ferrari and the Audi,” Farnbacher said. “They were very quick here today. I pushed very hard, but really didn’t have the pace they had, especially down the straight. The Heart of Racing car was really good. The competition was very fast in the high-speed corners. At the end the Viper was also very fast in a straight line. I was able to keep pressure on him and at the end two LMPC cars were fighting and the Viper was caught behind, I saw a tiny gap, squeezed in and took the position exiting Turn 1.”
“Tremendous job by the Alex Job Racing and The Heart of Racing team all day,” Riberas said. “The guys did a great job in the pits and with the strategy today. We had our chances. We led the race for many laps. We had a good car with some good pace. I had a tire puncture which forced us to modify our strategy or we would have, maybe, had a little better opportunity to go for the win. We will keep pushing and keep bringing trophies home with an eye toward the championship.”
“We led the race for a long time,” James said. “We were at the front all day. Mario and Alex did a great job, I led a lot of laps during my stints and we were a factor in the race all six hours. A couple of the caution periods affected our positions, but third on the day is very good here against this tough GTD competition.”
“Mario, Alex and Ian all put in great drives today,” Alex Job, team owner, said. “We inherited the pole, which is always nice, and the guys were able to keep the car in the lead. We had an unfortunate tire puncture as we had The Heart of Racing Porsche in a great position for the finish. That upset our strategy a little. Mario put a great move on the Viper at the end to the take the podium position.”
The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will travel to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park for the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix, July 8-10.
Source. Kyle Chura/Alex Job Racing