Ian James behind the Keyboard of Team Seattle's Alex Job Racing's (AJR) iconic No. 23 Porsche 911 during the 2014 Sports Car race held at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. (Image source: cdn-2.motorsport.com)
Although they'll be running a different European Marque, they'll return with Thar familiar Car Number...
It's GURR-REAT! News to learn that veteran IMSA Sports Car racer Ian James has managed to get the Team Seattle/Heart of Racing "Band" back together for a Full Season 2020 Weathertech SportsCar Championship campaign. As it's been over three long years since the team last raced in earnest, failing to find the necessary Dinero' to go racing in 2017.
Funny how I cannot even remotely figure out how long I've known the name Don Kitch, Jr., the founder of the Team Seattle project along with his wife Donna, since I'm Arse-sumin' I learned 'bout him Wayback during my SOVREN Hystericals' Days during the 1990's? When I spent copious amounts 'O time wanderin' round Pacific Raceways in Kent, WA. Although I tend to think of it as Seattle International Raceway instead.
Arse-sumin' I learned of him thru his Proformance Driving School, which I may have even Dreamt of Attending? Y'all know, when young lads aspire to become racing Drivers...
As Team Seattle began it's wonderful Fund Raising efforts for Seattle's Childrens Hospital Wayback in 1997 under its Heart of Racing banner, for which I cannot say I remember any of their early outings.
As I first paid Attenzione in earnest to Team Seattle's endeavours when some TV Heartthrob known as "Dr. McDreamy," nee Patrick Dempsey joined forces with Kitch & Co. to race at Circuit de la Sarthe over a Decade ago, Wayback in 2009.
And they picked the right mount for the GT2 Class, which saw Ferrari 430 GT's finishing P1-4, with Dempsey, Kitch and Joe Foster coming home 30th overall and ninth in class.
Team Seattle and Dempsey Racing continued Thar Partnership with the team campaigning Mazda RX8 "Tri Rotors" the next few years before I lost track, before picking up the scent once again when finally listening to that excellante book about Racing in The Rain. For which "Gregory Peart," nee Greg the Drummer' had been suggesting I read for years...
And then Thar were the Alex Job Racing (AJR) years between 2014-16, when Sports Car racing re-united as one single Sanctioning Series, after the long running Grand Am v American Le Mans Series Split, now if we could only get Le Mans back into Ye Fold; But I Digress...
As it was Alex Job Racing's (AJR) Mainstay trio of SuperMario', nee Mario Farnbacher, Ian James and Alex Riberas behind thou Keyboard of its #23 that arguably saw Team Seattle's greatest victory upon winning the GTD (Daytona) Class at the 2015 12 Hours of Sebring. Amazingly the 10th time that Alex Job's team had won its class at the legendous track.
Fast forwarding to 2020, I'm not really sure what to expect, since they'll be campaigning a brand new car in the largest Class at Daytona, with 18 entries expected. Although surely Team Seattle would like to finish higher than their 2016 results, when the No. 23 AJR Porsche 911 Panzerwagon finished 22nd Overall and 8th in Class.
As this year the team will be campaigning a brand new, shiny Aston Martin (AMR) Twin Turbo Vantage GT3 "Saloon," with Ian James as Team Manager and Enduro' Specialist, a la driving just the four Michelin Endurance Cup rounds.
As the team's Full-season lead Driver will be Alex Riberas, partnering with Kuhnaidiun' Newby' Roman De Angelis, Along with Aston Martin Racing's (AMR) Factory Driver Nicki Thiim, who competes in the FIA's World Endurance Championship (WEC) joining the team for the 24 Hours of Daytona, according to Racer's Marshall Pruett.
Whilst I'll admit I've never heard of this Kuhnaidiun' Heartthrob; Err Double Bacon' Porsche Cup Champion De angelis, who seems to being groomed for Bigger Success, and has a Decent Website that Lucy', My ARSE-Steamed' Screen Reader can actually read! Which is more than I can say for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's website; Oh Never Mind! since I Hugely Doubt El Capitano's' (Roger Penske) gonna Fix that any Bloody time soon...
As the team will have invaluable assistance from the Factory providing it Engineers to help get the new Vantage up to speed, along with Aston Martin itself running a Works effort at DayToner', running its traditional #98 giving Team Seattle a Dancin' Pardner. As Heart of Racing's main effort is to simply finish the race.
Good Luck Team Seattle!