The Aston Martin Vantage GT3 recorded its second international podium finish of 2021 as partner team Heart of Racing recorded a brilliant third place in the Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring on Saturday evening. It was also the second time in a row that the Seattle-based team had finished on the podium at the Florida venue.
The #23 Heart of Racing Vantage, driven by team principal Ian James (GB), Roman De Angelis (CN) and Aston Martin Racing works driver Ross Gunn (GB), ran near the front of the GTD class for the majority of the race, having quickly worked their way up from P9 at the start. A smooth run through the event with strong stints from both his team-mates allowed Gunn to inherit the lead when he climbed into the car for his final stint, only to drop to third as the pitstops cycled through.
But then a late Full Course Yellow with 30 minutes to go in the incident-packed race meant that the Englishman had to withstand immense pressure in the final stages. This only subsided when a rival Porsche was served with a penalty on the penultimate lap, freeing Gunn up to take his first IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship podium.
“This was an awesome result and the team thoroughly deserved it,” said Gunn. “We looked strong at Daytona back in January, and we’ve performed well all day again today, so the Aston Martin Vantage was good for this result. The more we race it over here in the US, the faster it seems to get, so let’s hope it can land a victory soon!”
James added: “Great day here at Sebring to get consecutive 12 Hour podiums for the Heart of Racing Aston Martin. I’m super proud of all the team. Roman and Ross drove really well and everyone executed all race long. This puts us in a good points position heading into the next race and leaves us excited for the rest of the season.”
Aston Martin Racing President David King added: “The Sebring 12 Hours is a gruelling event and tough for drivers, cars and teams, as it proved again this year, so to finish on the podium is an excellent performance from our partners Heart of Racing. It’s also another demonstration of the Aston Martin Vantage GT3’s growing competitiveness as a customer-based GT car in the USA and fully justifies our commitment to customer racing around the world in 2021.”
The next race in the IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship is at Mid-Ohio on 14-16 May.