Sebring race winners have another strong run

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MONTEREY, Calif. - The Heart of Racing team drivers Mario Farnbacher and Ian James finished the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Continental Tire Grand Prix powered by Mazda at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in third place in GTD this afternoon.

The Heart of Racing team were able to overcome the handling issues they had all week in practice and in qualifying to get the Porsche up on the podium at the checkered flag today. The team decided to start Ian James (Phoenix, Ariz.) from the back of the field on new tires. James proceeded to drive the No. 23 Heart of Racing Porsche to fourth place when he handed the car over to Mario Farnbacher (Ansbach, Germany). As the race progressed, Farnbacher was able to improve the team's position to take the last step on the GTD podium.

"This weekend we didn't really have the car dialed in," James said. "We had to really work hard for the third place position. Mario had a good run, but didn't have the car to really compete for the win. We made up some ground on the championship. The team really has some good energy right now coming off of our win at Sebring and another podium finish here today."

Farnbacher had to manage the car and tires to the podium finish.

"The week didn't start all that well," Farnbacher said. "He had handling issues in practice and then we tried something for qualifying and went the wrong way. The team got the car a little better for the warm-up and the race. Ian had a good opening stint and gave me the car in fourth place. My stint was pretty boring. I just drove in my own little race. I concentrated on hitting my marks, saving the tires and running consistent lap times. Third place is a good run for us today."

Team owner Alex Job made the best of a tough week.

"With the handling issues we had in practice and qualifying I will take a third place finish," Job said. "Ian had a nice opening run. It was a good decision to start him from the back on fresh tires. He was able to move up from last on the grid to fourth when he turned the Heart of Racing Porsche over to Mario. Mario did a nice job of not trying to over drive the car and brought it home on the podium."

The TUDOR United SportsCar Championship will travel to Detroit for the Chevrolet SportsCar Classic on Belle Isle, May 29-30.