Romain De Angelis believes Ross Gunn’s return as his co-driver this weekend in a classic Chevrolet sports car at Belle Isle will help drive profits after a difficult first half of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season for The Heart of Racing’s GTD program.
Gunn, who moved into the GTD Pro class for the team Aston Martin Vantage GT3 full-time this year, will replace fellow Aston Martin factory driver Maxime Martin in entry number 27 this weekend, with the Belgian in the AWS Endurance Cup-backed Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe in Paul Ricard.
While only confirmed as a one-off race together this year, the duo claimed their first program win in Detroit in 2021 en route to the WeatherTech Sprint Cup title and third overall in the GTD season long points standings.
This came after he finished second on the road before a post-race technical foul for the #39 CarBahn with Peregrine Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo.
“Obviously last year was a different style of winning,” said De Angelis. “We finished second on the podium, which was still a really good result for us, but I think this year we came with good momentum.
“The car was really strong here. The qualifying was good and we had a good pace all weekend last year.
“It would be nice to be back in the car with Ross. I missed him; I don’t know if he missed me but we’ll find out!”
De Angelis rated both of his fellow drivers highly although he admitted that Gunn’s previous experience at Belle Isle will help the team pick up where it left off last year.
“I had a good relationship with Maxim,” he said. “As everyone knows, Maxime is very talented. He has done a lot in his career and it is clear that he continues to do a lot.
“I really enjoy working with him but it’s the same with Ross.
“I think coming to Detroit, and especially having Ross in the car with me last year, would be an advantage. The experience of being there recently, with limited track time, and no testing in Detroit…
“I think that would be very beneficial, in terms of team harmony, it would be great to have Ross back. We’ve worked really well together and are similar in age.
“The atmosphere – me, him and the team – had a really good end last year with some really good results.
“I’m really looking forward to it.”
While he has yet to score a podium in GTD this year, De Angelis hopes Detroit will be a turnaround for the programme, which enjoyed a breakout season last year that was highlighted by wins also at Lime Rock Park and season-ending Motul Petit. Lou Man.
“I’ve been waiting for the past five weekends as a team to get that start,” he said. “We haven’t had the best luck this year.
“It seems that everything that can go wrong has gone wrong.
“In the middle of Ohio we had our first event-free race but ran out of fuel on the last lap and had to stop. We are going through a tough time this season as we get a break compared to last year as [other than] One or two of the races we weren’t out of the top five.
“This is a Kickstarter for us. Me myself, but more for the team, it’s hard to go five or six weekends in a row without any results when you know you have the speed, the car and a solid lineup.
“We are in a very difficult situation [in the championship]. in sprint [Cup] There is still an outside opportunity.
“We have to get wins in the race and as a team that is what we need. I really hope this is the week we can get it because I think we all need it.”
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