ALTON, Va. - The Heart of Racing driversMario Farnbacher (Germany) and Alex Riberas (Spain) will start tomorrow's running of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Michelin GT Challenge race to run at Virginia International Raceway (VIR) from the sixth position in GTD.
Farnbacher and Riberas have been working hard with the team all weekend to glean every millisecond out of The Heart of Racing Porsche at the twisty and fast 3.27-mile, 17-turn VIR circuit located northeast of Danville, Virginia. Farnbacher had the wheel of the chrome and blue Porsche for qualifying. Trying to get every click of the watch from the GT3R he spun exiting Turn 4. In the end he posted a time of 1:45.563 (No. 48 Lamborghini on pole with a 1:44.956) that will have the team starting sixth in class.
"It is hot out there in the car," Farnbacher said. "In the free practice sessions we knew we would have a hard time here with the Porsche. The long straights hurt us, as we are down 5-6 mph to the top cars. You just can't make up that amount in the corners, no matter how good we have the car handling. It is frustrating. I had a small spin trying to get every little bit of time out of the car."
"I think VIR is amazing," Riberas said. "You have the twisty section in the beginning where you need to get the rhythm just right. After you have the fast esses with some elevation change, which is my favorite part of the race track. The long straights are not good for our lack of straight line pace, which is too bad. I would be fun to have a car with some more speed to compete. It would make for great racing."
"We have a car that handles well here at VIR, but we just can't keep up down these two long straights," Alex Job, team owner said. "We are about 6 mph down on the straight and you can see it on TV as the other cars just walk away from us exiting the Oak Tree Turn. Alex and Mario are working hard behind the wheel to gain every inch on the track and then we just get motored on the straights."
The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will travel to Virginia International Raceway for the Michelin GT Challenge to run August 26-28. The race from VIR will be televised live on FOX Sports1 starting at 1:30 p.m. ET on Sunday.
The Heart of Racing
Founded in 1996, by Don and Donna Kitch, Team Seattle and The Heart of Racing is a group of sports car road racing fans, drivers, and corporate partners making a difference in our community by combining two passions: A love of motorsports and a commitment to Seattle Children's Hospital and pediatric cardiac health care nationally. The team uses the promotion and exposure of the racing program to fund raise and increase awareness of the financial needs for quality pediatric medical care. Since inception, Team Seattle has generated over $5.5 million for their cause. The Heart of Racing accepts donations and pledges for Seattle Children's Hospital at teamseattle.com.
Alex Job Racing
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 ten Sebring 12-hour wins.
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship
The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTD (GT Daytona) Class is made up of some the world's most sophisticated cars, including the Porsche 911 GT3 R, Ferrari 488 GTB, Lamborghini Huracan, Aston Martin DB9, BMW M6, Viper SRT and Audi R8 LMS. All GTD Class cars run on the spec Continental tire.