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Gunn, De Angelis Banking on “Outside Shot” of GTD Title

GTD championship outsiders De Angelis, Gunn, not giving up on possible title win…

Photo: Aston Martin Racing

Ross Gunn and Roman De Angelis are looking to “make the most” of their GT Daytona class title opportunity despite heading into this weekend’s season-ending Motul Petit Le Mans “with kind of an outside shot.”

The Heart of Racing duo enter the final round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season third in the season-long standings, 177 points behind leaders Laurens Vanthoor and Zach Robichon in the No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.

While having wrapped up the WeatherTech Sprint Cup title last time out at Virginia International Raceway, Gunn — an Aston Martin Racing factory driver — and De Angelis sit third in the overall standings and are banking on a bit of bad luck for their competitors in order to have a chance of winning a second title in the year.

“Because we have kind of an outside shot, I think we have to just do the best we can and then worry about what everyone else is doing afterwards,” De Angelis told Sportscar365.

“We can only do what we can and get the best result and hope that everyone else that we need to have, have a bad result, and catch some luck or something like that and maximize what we can do.”

A total of four teams, including second place runners Paul Miller Racing’s Bryan Sellers and Madison Snow, still hold a mathematical chance of the GTD championship ahead of Saturday’s ten-hour season finale at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

“We’re not really thinking of the championship; we’re thinking of the race, to be honest,” Gunn told Sportscar365.

“The mindset is just to maximize this endurance round. We’ve got Ian [James, team principal] back in the car as well so it’s back to the lineup we had in Daytona, Sebring and Watkins Glen.

“We’re just going to take the race hour by hour. Lots of things can happen. There’s loads of cars and a short lap. It’s all about being there in the end to pick up the results.

“If we do it, great. But if we don’t, we’ve had a great year. We picked up a title already. Then we’ll focus on next year.”

Gunn and De Angelis combined for two class wins and three additional podiums this year in their No. 23 Aston Martin Vantage GT3, which was the measure of consistency through the summer months.

“I think generally as a whole we’ve done a really good job in not making that many mistakes,” Gunn said.

“I don’t think we’ve been the fastest for the majority of the year but we’ve done a good job in terms of making [only] a small amount of mistakes and that’s what helped us win the Sprint Cup title.

“Of course maybe in the last few rounds we’ve lost a few points here or there in not really going for moves and that sort of thing. But we ticked one box with the Sprint title. 

“We’re a little bit behind in the overall but the competition is very, very high this year. It always has been. We’re in the fight and we’re going to make the most of the opportunity this weekend.”

De Angelis “Learned a Lot’ in WEC Bahrain Rookie Test

The 20-year-old Canadian was one of several members of the Aston Martin Racing Driver Academy to be invited to Bahrain International Circuit last weekend to take part in the end-of-year FIA World Endurance Championship rookie test.

De Angelis posted the quickest time of the North American contingent of drivers, behind the wheel of the No. 98 Aston Martin Vantage GTE that was driven this year by Augusto Farfus, Marcos Gomes and Paul Dalla Lana.

One driver out of this year’s Academy contestants will be rewarded with support from the manufacturer in 2022 that includes funding for programs and access to factory resources.

“I think just experiencing a WEC weekend in general was really cool,” De Angelis said. “Just being there, being with the team and seeing how it operates. 

“Obviously the level of professionalism between our team here and the team there are very high. Just experiencing that pinnacle of endurance racing on a world’s stage was pretty cool.

“I’ve always been a fan of that style of racing and you always look to do Le Mans in the future so it was cool to be a part of that.

“Driving the GTE, I felt pretty at home. All of the controls are quite similar to this [GT3] car. 

“The general feel is pretty similar. Obviously a bit more power, aero, different tires. It took a little bit to get used to that. I think everything went pretty decent.

“I probably could have done better than what I did. But I learned a lot and hopefully I get the opportunity again to show what I learned.” 

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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