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Global
Race report
IMSA Lime Rock

IMSA Lime Rock: Heart of Racing Astons take both class wins

The IMSA SportsCar Championship took on Lime Rock Park for the Northeast Grand Prix on Saturday, featuring only GT cars and drivers.

#23 Heart of Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage GT3: Ross Gunn, Alex Riberas, #14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3: Jack Hawksworth, Ben Barnicoat, #9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R 992: Klaus Bachler, Patrick Pilet

The 160-minute race got underway with Ross Gunn leading the GTD Pro field in the No. 23 Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3. He got away cleanly from Jack Hawksworth in the No. 14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 and Antonio Garcia in the Corvette Racing C8.R.

Mike Skeen, driving the No. 32 Korthoff Motorsports Mercedes AMG GT3, led the non-Pro class to the green flag, but faced an immediate challenge from Frederik Schandorff in the No. 70 Inception Racing McLaren 720S GT3 EVO. The two drivers made contact at the chicane, but Skeen held onto the lead.

GTD points leader Madison Snow started deep in the field, but managed to make up three positions on the start in the No. 1 Paul Miller Racing BMW M4 GT3.

Gunn remained firmly in control of the GTD Pro class as the first pit cycle began, but ended up behind both Hawksworth and Garcia.

The first full-course caution came after a major shunt in Turn 1, nearly 30 minutes into the race. Alan Metni, driving the No. 91 Porsche 911 GT3 R, made an overtake into the first corner but completely overshot the braking point. He ended up slamming into the back of Jarett Andretti’s No. 94 Aston Martin Vantage GT3, sending both drivers off the course.

Metni limped his wounded machine back to the pits while Andretti came to a halt against the tire barrier, forcing a FCY.

Many drivers took the opportunity to pit during the yellow-flag period, and Gunn regained control of the race. He then quickly pulled away, holding an advantage of over six seconds at one point.

But in GTD, the order had changed a bit with Snow now leading the way. Unfortunately, they would face a major setback as the team was hit with a drive-through penalty for contact in the pits, taking them out of contention.

The No. 27 Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3 with Roman De Angelis moved into the lead. The organization was now in control of both classes with the No. 23 and No. 27 Astons.

#27 Heart of Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage GT3: Roman De Angelis, Marco Sorensen

#27 Heart of Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage GT3: Roman De Angelis, Marco Sorensen

Photo by: Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images

The final set of green-flag pit stops got underway with just over an hour remaining, bringing with it driver changes throughout the field. And then, another full-course yellow when Brendan Iribe’s No. 70 McLaren found the tire barriers just shy of pit entry.

Green-flag running resumed with 48 minutes to go, with Alex Riberas now behind the wheel of the No. 27 GTD Pro Aston.

While Riberas led overall, the sister No. 23 Aston remained in command of the GTD class with Marco Sorensen at the helm. 

The No. 32 Mercedes, which had started the race from pole in the GTD class, saw their day go sideways as Mikael Grenier went for an unplanned spin through the infield grass, losing a bit of time. 

Back at the sharp end of the field, Riberas was being kept honest by Ben Barnicoat in the Vasser Sullivan Lexus, who remained within striking distance as the clock fell to under 30 minutes.

A similar situation was unfolding in the non-Pro class with less than a second between Sorensen and his pursuers.

The No. 92 Kellymoss with Riley Porsche 911 GT3 R was trying their best to run down Sorensen for the GTD class win, but the left-front fender appeared to be coming loose on the car, which likely hindered their efforts.

In the overall fight, a mistake from Barnicoat in Turn 1 finally gave Riberas some breathing room with five minutes to go.

No one was able to mount a serious challenge, allowing Heart of Racing to sweep both classes and take the overall victory in the Northeast Grand Prix.

"Such a hard season for the team," said an elated Riberas in Victory Lane. "We've been working so hard. The entire crew have been doing a phenomenal job all season long, but just couldn't really click. We couldn't execute the final result that we were aiming for. The guys did such hard work after Mosport getting the new car ready, and what a way to reward them with a victory."

Added GTD class winner De Angelis in the sister Heart of Racing Aston: "A lot of strategy. Good calls by the team. Good job by my teammate Marco (Sorensen). Happy to finally get the ball rolling again. Had some bad luck. Always been a really quick car the whole year since our win in Daytona, but could never really put it together with bad luck. So hopefully this is the start of something good and we can finish strong the last few rounds. Let's go for a championship now."

Cla Drivers # Class Chassis Laps Time Interval Pits
1 United KingdomROSS GUNNSpainALEX RIBERASHeart Of Racing Team 23 GTD PRO Aston Martin Vantage GT3 168 -   4
2 United KingdomJACK HAWKSWORTHUnited KingdomBEN BARNICOATVasser Sullivan 14 GTD PRO Lexus RC F GT3 168 +0.336 0.336 5
3 AustriaKLAUS BACHLERFrancePATRICK PILETPfaff Motorsports 9 GTD PRO Porsche 911 GT3 R (992) 168 +0.859 0.523 4
4 SpainANTONIO GARCIAUnited StatesJORDAN TAYLORCorvette Racing 3 GTD PRO Corvette C8.R GTD 168 +1.138 0.279 5
5 CanadaROMAN DE ANGELISDenmarkMARCO SORENSENHeart Of Racing Team 27 GTD Aston Martin Vantage GT3 168 +14.443 13.305 4
6 United StatesALEC UDELLFranceJULIEN ANDLAUERKellymoss with Riley 92 GTD Porsche 911 GT3 R (992) 168 +14.998 0.555 5
7 United StatesALAN BRYNJOLFSSONUnited StatesTRENT HINDMANWright Motorsports 77 GTD Porsche 911 GT3 R (992) 168 +15.451 0.453 5
8 United StatesPATRICK GALLAGHERUnited StatesROBBY FOLEYTurner Motorsport 96 GTD BMW M4 GT3 168 +17.228 1.777 5
9 CanadaMIKHAIL GOIKHBERGItalyLORIS SPINELLIForte Racing Powered by USRT 78 GTD Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2 168 +19.880 2.652 6
10
SHEENA MONK
United KingdomKATHERINE LEGGEGradient Racing
66 GTD Acura NSX GT3 168 +25.336 5.456 6
11 United StatesPJ HYETT
SEB PRIAULXAO Racing
80 GTD Porsche 911 GT3 R (992) 168 +25.893 0.557 5
12 SpainDANIEL JUNCADELLAFranceJULES GOUNONWeatherTech Racing 79 GTD PRO Mercedes AMG GT3 168 +26.841 0.948 6
13 United StatesBRYAN SELLERSUnited StatesMADISON SNOWPaul Miller Racing 1 GTD BMW M4 GT3 168 +30.943 4.102 7
14 United StatesRUSSELL WARDSwitzerlandPHILIP ELLISWinward Racing 57 GTD Mercedes AMG GT3 168 +37.213 6.270 5
15 United StatesMIKE SKEENCanadaMIKAEL GRENIERTeam Korthoff Motorsports 32 GTD Mercedes AMG GT3 168 +38.011 0.798 5
16 United StatesBILL AUBERLENUnited StatesCHANDLER HULLTurner Motorsport 97 GTD BMW M4 GT3 167 1 lap   5
17 United StatesFRANKIE MONTECALVOUnited StatesAARON TELITZVasser Sullivan 12 GTD Lexus RC F GT3 166 2 laps   6
18 United StatesBRENDAN IRIBESwitzerlandFREDERIK SCHANDORFFInception Racing 70 GTD McLaren 720S GT3 EVO 102 66 laps   3
19
ALAN METNI
NetherlandsKAY VAN BERLOKellymoss with Riley
91 GTD Porsche 911 GT3 R (992) 46 122 laps   3
20 United StatesJARETT ANDRETTIColombiaGABBY CHAVESAndretti Autosport 94 GTD Aston Martin Vantage GT3 41 127 laps   2

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