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DE ANGELIS: A Good Weekend at Road America

The Heart of Racing’s Roman De Angelis files his latest Sportscar365 column…

Photo: Brian Cleary/SRO

Road America had its variety of ups and downs for the Heart of Racing team. It was a good weekend for Gray (Newell) and I, but it was really unfortunate for the No. 26 car with Hannah (Grisham) and Rianna (O’Meara-Hunt) especially not being able to race on Sunday after having a couple of accidents over the weekend.

Although Gray and I had a rough start to the weekend in Pirelli GT4 America, it ended up pretty good overall.

We ended up not going out for Practice 2 because on Gray’s out lap he went off into the grass. Instead of risking the car even more we decided to pull it back to the paddock and take a look at it, which ultimately ended up coming back to haunt us later in the weekend.

Saturday morning Gray had a great qualifying run during the first qualifying session, scoring the fifth fastest lap in class. I didn’t have the best of luck in qualifying due to it being plagued with red flags. The series eventually decided to void all qualifying times and base the second race’s starting grid off of practice two results, which is where not going out for that practice hurt us.

Gray did a great job on the start maintaining position and made it through an early race caution. Gray pitted for a drive change to put me in the car right before a second caution came out and we were able to gain a position during that stop.

When the track went back to green I was able to move up to fourth. Then right before another caution came out, I was able to make a move on the outside to pass for the lead.

The race ended under caution. I was lucky enough to get the pass when I was able to and take home our second win for the season.

Sunday morning we started from the back of the field and had some overheating issues during my stint. Thankfully I was able to get a little bit of clean air and was able to make my way to seventh before handing the car over to Gray, who went on to cross the finish line in seventh.

I’m happy with that, especially with the issues of overheating which killed the power for us. Overall Gray and I had a good weekend.

We go to Sebring next, it’s one of my favorite tracks on the schedule because it has so much character and I think it will be a good track for the Aston Martin. We did see how the Aston was better in cooler air, so we’ll see how the air affects us in the Florida heat.

Sebring will be fun because we will have a third race, it is the make up for the second NOLA race that was canceled due to weather. That race will have the same qualifying times as before, so we should start fifth.

The Heart of Racing team has had some good luck there in the past with the GT3 program, so I don’t see why we can’t do the same in the GT4s.

There are just two more weekends left in the season, we’ll be focusing on our qualifying efforts and trying to stay penalty free as we go into those events. I think if we can do well in those departments, I don’t see why we can’t win another one.

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