Thursday, Mar 23

Transcript: Ian James, Marco Sorensen, Darren Turner, Roman DeAngelis

Sunday, Jan 29 381

THE MODERATOR: We'll welcome to the stage drivers of the No. 27 Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3. This is their seventh -- this is the team's seventh career win, first in the Rolex 24.

Roman DeAngelis' sixth career win, first in IMSA, first Rolex 24 win. He's the defending GTD champion in the WeatherTech Championship.

Ian James, 11th career win, first Rolex 24 win.

Marco Sorensen, his first Rolex 24 win. He's also a 24 Hours Le Mans winner.

Darren Turner, sixth career win, first Rolex 24 win.

And this is Aston Martin's first win in the Rolex 24 at Daytona. First race here was in 1964.

Q. Ian, what does it mean to beat the GTD Pro winner in this race and to end up being the highest ranked GT car in the Rolex?

IAN JAMES: I think it's just an extra cherry on the cake. Obviously that's not the most important thing, but obviously having me part of the lineup, going against all those pro guys and still coming out on top, just is a testament to what these guys did and how hard and how well they drove and how well the team is.

I think basically to go up against -- I used to look up with admiration and I still do to the likes of Corvette Racing and all that, and to go toe to toe with them and beat them is a huge accomplishment.

Q. Other than the control-alt-delete that was late in the race, any other dramas this car had?

IAN JAMES: There wasn't really, and that actually gave me a little bit of comfort. Many years ago I won the Sebring 12-Hour and I had a control-alt-delete moment and we went on to win, and I thought maybe that's an omen.

At the time when it happened I was a little bit worried, but that was the only hiccup we had through the whole race. It was just tires and fuel the whole way, and there's not a scratch on the car, and I think that's what it takes to win.

Q. Darren, it completes a nice set, this one, doesn't it, another class win in another 24-hour race? How tough is this race to win compared to all the other big ones you've done through the years?

DARREN TURNER: I think they're all similar in terms of you have to -- lots of things have got to come together to be able to win a 24-hour race. This weekend has proven it, with no mistakes by anyone in the driver lineup, super pit stops by the team, and a great strategy. That's what brings a good win on a 24-hour.

I have to say, this one is such an enjoyable race as a 24-hour race just because you can never give up in terms of you might think you're in a good position, but then the wave-around will completely scupper any of those aspirations that you've got a big lead.

It means that you end up with some great racing right until the flag, which is ultimately what everyone who's watching would like. When you sit in the pit lane and you're wishing those minutes away with Marco in the car just to get to the flag and to get that victory, it's a really important victory for I guess all the drivers here.

To win at Daytona is a huge achievement for Heart of Racing, and it's fantastic. It shows all the hard work they've been doing over all these years, and for Aston Martin, it's the first win here at Daytona.

Yeah, it's a really special day. Loved it.

Q. Marco, you and Roman had, for much of the race, a buffer with some GTD Pro cars behind you; at one point, three GTD Pro cars knocking each other off the track. How important was having that buffer to this victory?

MARCO SORENSEN: Well, I actually think actually having that buffer helped us a little bit, but in the end when I had this power cycle that I had to do on track, we were kind of a little bit behind again.

It all kind of moved around during the race. We were definitely one of or the quickest car out there, I would say, and had the pace to be in the front.

Having the pro cars in between was kind of, in the end at least, I kind of just knew that we had to just stay in front of them, and that would help a lot. But yeah, still just an awesome, awesome victory to get under the belt.

Q. Roman, 21 years old, you've won the WeatherTech Championship GTD title, you won a Sprint Cup, I think you guys won at petite end of last year, now the Rolex 24 win. Could you have imagined this much success early?

ROMAN DE ANGELIS: Yeah, definitely not. I was just saying to Ian, the fact that this is my fifth 24 Hours at Daytona is crazy because this is the race I always grew up wanting to do, let alone thinking about winning.

Still kind of surreal to be sat here, I think especially for Ian. I think he said it's his 21st start, and to finally win it, I'm super fortunate to have won it with him, having done my first one with him, and that's kind of where our relationship started.

Yeah, like you said, it's just very emotional. I hope the pictures don't come out of my bawling my eyes out when we won because it's pretty embarrassing, but just super happy for the Heart of Racing.

Everybody I was co-driving with did an amazing job. My first race with Marco, obviously starting our full-season campaign. Not a bad way to start it.

Q. Ian, over the past two to three years there's been a lot of growth in the number of Aston Martins on the grid, both here in WeatherTech and in SRO America in both GT3 and GT4. What do you feel is the biggest draw for racing Aston Martins these days in those classes?

IAN JAMES: Well, I think when we decided to go with Aston, there wasn't really -- like you say, there wasn't really any around. We've provided a bit of a proof of concept to the car and how good it is, but also it's one of those halo brands, like a Ferrari or an Aston, that's kind of in my mind the two halo brands there are, and it's a real cool and unique brand to be associated with.

The GT4 car and the GT3 car, there's great DNA in it, and it does an awesome job out on the track.

THE MODERATOR: Gentlemen, congratulations. That will wrap up our interviews from the 61st Rolex 24 at Daytona.



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