Ross Gunn kicked off his 2022 racing season by competing in the ‘Roar Before The 24’ qualification race at the Daytona International Speedway in Florida on Sunday, writes James Beckett.
The 100 minute race around the Daytona Road Course, was the warm-up for this weekend’s Daytona 24 Hours - an event that forms the opening round of the new 2022 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Gunn is contesting the IMSA series this year with the Heart of Racing Aston Martin team, driving a GTD (GT3) Pro class car with Alex Riberas and Maxime Martin, and it was with Riberas that Gunn lined-up for Sunday’s qualification race.
The race designed to arrange the grid for IMSA’s big race next weekend via its finishing order.
Supported as an Aston Martin factory driver for the 2022 season, Vale-based Gunn and his Spanish team-mate Riberas, ended the race sixth in the GTD-Pro class. The race marked the first time GT3 specification cars have been the main GT category in the IMSA series adding to the close competition on-track.
Crossing the finish 27th overall, Gunn said: “This is a strong start to the season and this race was all about qualifying for next weekend.
“The team did a good job, and we can see that the championship is going to be very tough this year.”
Gunn’s Aston Martin Vantage GT3 was the leading British car to finish the race, in a class that was won by the TR3 Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 of Andrea Calderelli and Mirko Bortolotti.
Overall the race, and pole position for the Daytona 24 Hours, was won and secured by Ricky Taylor and Felipe Albuquerque in a Konica-Acura ARX-05, with Tristan Vautier/Richard Westbrook (Cadillac DPi) and Kamui Kobayashi/Jiommy Johnson (Ally Cadillac) completing the podium.
Tom Ingram is set to stay with the Excelr8 Motorsport team in the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) until at least 2024. The local racer joined the team to race a Hyundai i30 N at the start of last season, and after an impressive debut season in which he scored three victories and finished fourth in the championship, Ingram has agreed to continue with the team.
Speaking last week, he said: “I’ve never made any secret of the fact that I want to be in this BTCC for the long haul, and success in this championship relies heavily upon forging relationships with the right people.”