The Aston Martin Vantage GT3 recorded its maiden victory in the US (12 June), when partner team The Heart of Racing and drivers Ross Gunn (GBR) and Roman de Angelis (CDN) were declared the winners in the latest round of the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship at the Belle Isle track in Detroit last Saturday.
The duo secured their breakthrough victory in the premier U.S.-based endurance racing series in the 100-minute encounter on the challenging city streets of Detroit. The victory was confirmed post-race when the team was elevated to the top-step of the podium following the disqualification of a rival competitor.
Aston Martin Racing works driver Gunn was delighted with the achievement, saying: “This victory is another great milestone for me in my career and I have to thank The Heart of Racing team for a fantastic Aston Martin GT3 car today.
“We had excellent preparation for this race and that effort was rewarded on a really tough circuit where any errors are punished instantly. This win will add to the great momentum already built so far this season and we are relishing the rounds to come in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship this summer.”
Gunn’s performance was lauded by The Heart of Racing team principal, Ian James, who described the result as “amazing.”
After starting this team last year, to get our first win is a huge achievement,” said James. “I couldn’t be prouder of everyone involved, the drivers were amazing and the crew were faultless. It’s a great reflection of a huge team effort to secure this win for The Heart of Racing and the first for Aston Martin in IMSA for a long time.Ian James – The Heart of Racing team principal
While Vantage was tasting success on one side of the Atlantic, a trio of GTE variant, which is powered by a four-litre, twin-turbo-charged V8 engine derived from the road car, were in action at the Circuit Algarve track in Portugal for the second round of the 2021 FIA World Endurance Championship.
With enhanced points awarded for the longer eight-hour race, the NorthWest AMR entry claimed the fourth position with Paul Dalla Lana (CDN), Marcos Gomes (BRA), and Augusto Farfus (BRA) in the Vantage. Gomes forged to the front of the GTE Am class field in the opening hour and challenged for the lead before Dalla Lana completed several excellent stints that laid the foundation for the fourth-place finish.
Ben Keating (USA), Dylan Pereira (LUX) and Felipe Fraga (BRA) were in the thick of the action throughout the event and accumulated extra points with an eighth place finish in the TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage.
The Japanese entered D’station Racing car, that had claimed points in its first FIA WEC race at Spa last month, was unable to add to that tally, forced to retire due to damage caused by contact with another car. This was despite leading the GTE Am class in the early running after several decisive overtaking manoeuvres by team manager and driver Tomonobu Fujii (JPN).
Fujii (JPN) is racing this season with Satoshi Hoshino (JPN) and Andrew Watson (GBR) and the trio are already focusing on the next round at Monza in July.
David King, President of Aston Martin Racing, said of the weekend’s action on both sides of the Atlantic: “The Heart of Racing have been superb this year and this first win was only a matter of time. They are doing a great job representing Aston Martin in the U.S. and are now very well placed for a title challenge. The WEC results in Portimao didn’t fully reflect the pace and potential of our cars, but important points were scored and with the 6 Hours of Monza next month, I’m sure we will see another strong push for podiums and points ahead of Le Mans in August.”
The third round of the 2021 WEC is the 6 Hours of Monza which will take place over the weekend of July 17-18.
Note: Press release courtesy of Aston Martin Racing.