Connect with us

24H Series

Heart of Racing Overcomes Logistics Hurdle for 24H Dubai

The Heart of Racing gets helping hand from fellow Creventic competitors after shipping issues…

Photo: John Dagys

The Heart of Racing has overcome multiple logistical hurdles to be on the grid for the Hankook 24H Dubai according to team principal Ian James.

The American team, in its international debut, is competing in its second consecutive 24H Series event after contesting last November’s 24H Sebring, where it controlled the GT4 class until gearbox problems for its Aston Martin Vantage GT4 with two hours to go.

The entire Sebring event was pushed back by a day due to a delay in sea freight from Europe, which indirectly impacted the team’s shipping plans to the United Arab Emirates.

“Our container didn’t show up at Sebring because we weren’t one of the teams coming from Europe,” James told Sportscar365.

“When you do a Creventic entry, they provide all the transportation and containers. But because of the COVID situation they couldn’t find a container in America.

“We had to consolidate into two other people’s containers to take one of the cars.

“One car came with ST [Racing]. All of our kit came in the Creventic support container and they flew one of the cars here. 

“A lot of our stuff, we couldn’t bring, so we’re kind of on a skeleton parts situation here. 

“We don’t have our container to use here because it hasn’t arrived yet, again. We have no base of operations. Thankfully Schubert [Motorsport] has let us use half of their container. 

“Our friends at WRT are next door so they’ve offered some assistance as well. 

“It’s great camaraderie within this paddock. People make things work. We have everything we need to do the race.”

James is sharing the team’s Aston with Pirelli GT4 America race winner Gray Newell, longtime HoR driver Alex Riberas and IMSA WeatherTech Sprint Cup champion Roman De Angelis this weekend.

It’s the same lineup from Sebring, with the focus on getting Newell acclimated to endurance racing.

“That was always the plan,” he said. “We’re trying to get Gray some acclimatization to 24-hour racing, so hopefully in the future to do some of the bigger [endurance] races in America.

“There’s nothing like Dubai in terms of the intensity of the racing and the traffic and the multi-class aspects. This was always on our list to come here.

“I’ve done it many times and it’s a fun race. It’s exciting for it to be the first time internationally for the team as well.”

James said the race, which features a 70-plus car entry, is more about “survival” than anything else, especially being in the GT4 class.

“The ultimate pace of your car, especially when you’re in GT4 or the lower classes, is just avoiding getting caught up in somebody else’s incident,” he said.

“We’re going to try and be pretty conservative. We’ve got a pretty good driver lineup. 

“We need to look after the car and see where we are towards the end.”

January marks a busy month for the team, which will kick off its IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship campaign as a two-car Aston Martin entry across GTD Pro and GTD.

“There’s a couple of guys from the GT3 team here,” said James. “We also have dedicated guys on the GT4 program.

“Nothing is going to compromise Daytona. It’s obviously been a busy winter getting ready for that with two cars.

“We’re looking forward to that and ready to go. The entry list looks awesome. We’re excited.”

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

Click to comment

More in 24H Series