The No. 23 Heart of Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage GT3 has two wins this season in the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship, neither of them ordinary. But as Roman De Angelis said after claiming yet another unorthodox victory at Lime Rock Park, “a win is a win, so you definitely take them when you can.”
Unlike for their first win at Belle Isle, when a post-race penalty promoted them to the top spot, the No. 23 Aston Martin was actually leading when the checkered flag flew. But unlike in Detroit, the car never got the chance to actually cross underneath the checkered flag. This time it was crowned the winner of the Northeast Grand Prix while sitting on pit road waiting out a lightning storm that never subsided.
“Having led the race and the race being stopped while we were leading, I think we were very deserving of that,” De Angelis said. “It’s been a great weekend so far. Never been here, me or Ross Gunn, the Aston Martin being a new car, the team hasn’t been here with that so you know we definitely spent a lot of time getting the car to where it was that could take us to victory.”
Had this race gone green to the finish, the team was likely looking at another pitstop, but as time clicked down through the red flag, the window opened to potentially make it to the end without stopping again.
How the end of the race played out if the lightning lifted was a hard question to answer because as Gunn explained, it would have depended on when the race resumed.
“It would have depended on when the restart would have happened,” Gunn said. “If the restart was with 20 minutes to go, quite possibly we would have gone to the end [without making another pitstop]. But there were some cars behind us that had to stop but it was getting to a quite interesting stage of the race.”
“Everybody in GTD was at a very, very similar pace throughout the race,” Gunn added. “It was very difficult to overtake at this track, so it was just a constant train. [Going back green] would have made it interesting but I believe everyone would have had to stop at the end.”