James, Farnbacher and Riberas only
TAVARES, Fla. - Team Seattle-The Heart of Racing drivers Mario Farnbacher (Ansbach, Germany), Ian James (Phoenix, Az) and Alex Riberas (Barcelona, Spain) will drive the twice around the clock 53rd running of the Rolex 24 Hours At Daytona Jan. 22-25 as a trio.
The only three driver team in the GTD field, Farnbacher, James and Riberas are ready to spend maximum drive time behind the wheel of the No. 22 Team Seattle-Heart of Racing Porsche this weekend. The team was able to log a fast lap of 1:48.135 during the Roar Before the 24 weekend that put them in the top ten on the speed chart of the 19 car GTD field.
"The class is super competitive and any manufacturer has a shot," James said. "Our focus has to be running as near perfect a race as possible without worrying about the competition and the result will come. With a three car driver team it is important to get rested and take a few power naps during the race. A NASA study found 17 minutes is an ideal length. I will also try to fit in a massage and food between each stint. The 23 crew and the drivers are really a tight knit group and we work very efficiently together. Everyone always gives 110%. Aligned with our fundraising mission for Seattle Children's Hospital every single person is pulling in the same direction and that makes the 23 car a potent force."
Farnbacher is ready for the GTD competition with the tight knit 23 team.
"At the Roar test you could see how really tight all the manufactures are at Daytona," Farnbacher said. "Especially the GT3 cars like the Viper, Audi, Aston Martin, BMW and Ferrari. They are really quick. It's going to be a tough race. During the race I just try to relax as much as I can in the paddock. I try to get some sleep in between stints. I think we have a little advantage with our driver line-up. We know each other very well and we are a big family."
Riberas is ready for his second Daytona 24.
"I honestly think all of the GTD cars will be fast this weekend," Riberas said. "But in the end, it's not only about being fast. Twenty-four hours is a long time and I'm sure many cars are going to suffer technical issues. I feel pretty confident with our Porsche 911 GT America. Nutrition is a key factor to keeping yourself sharp all race long. Especially for us this year with only three drivers in the No. 23 car. Luckily, we are provided with the right nutrition products which is helps us to recover in a very short time. When it comes to this kind of competitiveness every detail can make all the difference. It's difficult to say how we really match up to the other GTD cars. We will have to wait until qualifying to know exactly where we stand."
Don Kitch Jr., team manager, has his driving trio ready and Children's Hospital onboard.
"Ian, Mario and Alex are ready," Kitch Jr. said. "We have been coming to Daytona since 1996. My wife Donna and I founded Team Seattle in 1996. Over the past nine years we have been able to raise nearly $6 million dollars to support pediatric care at Children's Hospital in Seattle. We want to invite TUDOR Championship series fans to get onboard by visiting http://bit.ly/15gWAA8 to donate."
Alex Job, team owner, has the No. 23 Team Seattle-Heart of Racing Porsche ready to go.
"We made the repairs from the Roar test and we are ready," Job said. "We will really need to focus on the health of the drivers while they are not in the car. Make sure they are getting enough fluids and food to go the distance. We are the only team running just three drivers, so everyone has to contribute."
The TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Rolex 24 At Daytona will run Jan. 22-25. The start of the race will be broadcast on, Jan. 24 on FOX starting at 2:00 pm and continuing on the network until 4:00 pm ET. FOX Sports 2 will take over from 4:00 - 8:00 pm. Then over to FOX Sports 1 8:00 - 10:00 pm. From 10:00 pm - 7 am it will stream live at IMSA.com and return to FOX Sports 1 for the finish from 7:00 am - 2:30 pm. IMSA Radio will carry the entire broadcast, link at IMSA.com.
The TUDOR United SportsCar Championship GTD (GT Daytona) Class is made up of some the world's most sophisticated cars, including the Porsche 911 GT America, Ferrari 458, Aston Martin, BMW Z4, Viper SRT and Audi R8. All GTD Class cars run on the spec Continental tire.
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 nine Sebring 12-hour wins.