Challenging start to the 2020 season for Heart of Racing

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If you were anything like me, you were probably excited about our very own Paul Charsley’s new team and their assault on the Daytona 24. Bringing Aston Martin back to the US in a stunning livery for Heart of Racing, Ian James and his team were looking forward to doing well in Daytona.

Early on, the team were fighting to get the car in a more compliant mood and made real-time adjustments to improve the car’s pace. Unfortunately, an incident left the team watching the remaining 19 or so hours of the race on the sidelines.

Incredibly gutting for my friend Paul but it’s a long season and there is plenty of pace and action to come. As the team also said, the charity wins and the team are working hard for the next race.

Press Release:

Due to an unfortunate event, The Heart of Racing team has withdrawn from the 58th running of the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona. Following an incident close to pit entry with the #47 PPM Lamborghini Huracan at close to five hours in, the car sustained damage that although is repairable, is not repairable on site.

The Heart of Racing team returned to Daytona International Speedway this weekend to compete as a newly re-established team, with the new-to-the-team Aston Martin Vantage GT3. Practice was focused on set up and learning as much about the car as possible. Qualifying went as expected with the strategy focused on the endurance aspect.

In addition, the team came here to raise awareness and funds for the 501(c)(3) Team Seattle Guild, which funds equipment for the pediatric cardiology unit of Seattle Children’s Hospital as well as research and training of doctors and surgeons worldwide. Thanks to the team and the Guild’s efforts this weekend, a figure of over $100,000 has been raised so far.

The team will now return to their Florida base to regroup and repair, with the aim to come back fighting at the next event in Sebring in March. Back in 2016, the team enjoyed a class victory at this event and look forward to the opportunity to prove themselves once again.

Quoteboard:

Alex Riberas
“Definitely not the way we wanted to end our weekend in Daytona. The race was hard from the beginning, but the team did a great job at finding ways to improve the car during the race. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the most out of what I think is a very good car, but I feel very lucky to be part of a great family and I am sure we will return stronger at Sebring.”

Ian James
“Unfortunate end to a promising debut for the team, but racing is full of ups and downs and I am proud of the way the whole team and drivers executed this weekend. I look forward to Sebring and the rest of the year with this extended family, The Heart of Racing.”

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Tom Firth
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Yeah, a shame for Paul and the team for it to end as it did, wanted to see more of Thiim in the car. I did enjoy the Rolex24 on the whole though, IMSA seems to hold the momentum in the sportscar world pretty strongly at the moment, so much so that it has the opportunity to direct the ‘convergence’ shots it seems over the FIA WEC.