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Heart of Racing’s De Angelis, Gunn “Learning Off Each Other”

New-for-2021 The Heart of Racing pairing going from strength to strength in GTD…

Photo: Jake Galstad/IMSA

Ross Gunn and Roman De Angelis believe they’ve each brought their own strengths to The Heart of Racing program, as the second-year Aston Martin squad has turned into a championship threat in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

The new-for-2021 pairing, who are coming off their first class win at Detroit, currently lead the IMSA WeatherTech Sprint Cup championship and sit second in the season-long GT Daytona class standings following another podium finish in last weekend’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen.

Gunn, an Aston Martin Racing factory driver, joined the Ian James-led operation in January’s Rolex 24 at Daytona and has since been confirmed as a full-season driver alongside Canadian De Angelis, with the duo yet to finish outside of the top-five this season.

“I’ve had quite a few years’ experience with this car,” said Gunn. “I’m very lucky to race in various championships around the world in the [Aston Martin] GT3 and GTE.

“In that respects I’ve been able to give my knowledge and some of the things I’ve learned over the years and have tried to pass that onto Roman.

“Equally he’s taught me a lot about the circuits because pretty much all of them are brand-new to me.

“Also Ian has played a really good role in that this year as well in helping me. He has a vast amount of experience on all of the circuits.

“I’ve been trying to be a sponge as much as possible at all of the race events, the track walks and that sort of thing because we have such limited time in IMSA practice sessions that you need to learn quickly and be on the pace quickly.

“Me and Roman this year… have a really good rapport. I feel like we learn a lot off each other. Long may that continue.”

De Angelis said one of Gunn’s biggest assets has been his knowledge of the car. 

“Obviously last year I was racing with Ian, who has a vast amount of experience in all areas of motorsports but at that point he hadn’t driven the Aston,” De Angelis explained.

“So we were both learning a car that was much different than what I had driven previously in a rear-engined Porsche.

“It’s nice to have an expert like Ross in the car this year to fine-tune whatever we learned last year.

“I think it’s a huge asset for the team in general to learn about the setups and stuff like that but also for me and Ian to see the little quirks [in the car] that Ross has developed, to be able to compare and improve.

“He’s a fast factory driver, so he’s done something right in his career. Compared to that and learning and getting better is always great. There’s always stuff to learn and take what we can.”

Weather the Unknown Factor for WeatherTech 240

While coming off a third place class finish last weekend, Gunn said that the possibility of rain and thunderstorms could play a key factor into Friday evening’s WeatherTech 240 at The Glen.

“There was a lot we learned over the six-hour race,” said Gunn. “Obviously with the way the calendar was last year, the car never competed at this track.

“We started a little bit on the back foot compared to some of the other teams but we made really, really good progress during the race and learned a lot about the circuit and what it requires.

“I feel a little bit what we learned last week will help us in some ways this weekend but obviously the weather is going to play a different role this time so we’ll need to adapt to that pretty quickly.

“I’m really proud of the way the team has progressed this year — my first year in IMSA full-time and also with The Heart of Racing.

“Each race we keep making steps forward. I’m sure this weekend we’ll continue that trend.”

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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