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Positive Energy Surrounds The Heart Of Racing Ahead Of The 1st North Island Rnd Of Endurance Racing

The Heart of Racing’s Alex Riberas and Darren Kelly are "very excited" ahead of their hometown debut this weekend at Hampton Downs for the first event of the North Island Endurance Series. The duo are the favourites heading into this weekend’s events after winning the first race of their South Island series in Invercargill last weekend.

Kelly is feeling positive for his hometown round after the team’s success at Teretonga. As a driver who has spent a lot of time at Hampton Downs during his drift driving career, Kelly will take on the familiar track with a new twist: endurance racing.

“It was surreal to get a win at Teretonga for my very first ever GT3 race,” says Darren Kelly. “Having tested at Hampton Downs in the GT3 car only a few times, I am still learning the limits of the car, but I am feeling more confident with each lap I do. Hampton Downs is my home track and it is really exciting to be behind the wheel of the Vantage on this track. It has been a lot of fun working with Alex and studying where I can make improvements at each track.”

A five-event schedule across the North and South Islands lies ahead for the The Heart of Racing. With this being the team’s debut season in both New Zealand’s endurance racing series, each track will be a new adventure. Hailing from the IMSA championship in the United States, driver Alex Riberas has been working hard to learn the series’ tracks in order to prepare for the upcoming races.

“I am so thrilled to be driving at Hampton Downs this weekend,” says Alex Riberas. “It has been amazing to get to know this track with the help of Darren and International Motorsport, and it feels unreal to finally race here. We are all excited to race again coming from our win at Teretonga last week. There is a very good energy within the team right now, and I hope we can harness that for another successful weekend”.

The team will put their Aston Martin Vantage GT3 to the test in tomorrow's practice sessions to prepare for Saturday’s qualifying and 3-hour race.

Fans who buy a ticket online in advance (via Eventfinder) will be granted limited access to head trackside for Saturday’s events to witness the twin turbo V8 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 in action for the first of the North Island events. Fans who cannot attend the race in person will be able to watch live via The Heart of Racing’s Facebook page which will share the Golden Homes North Island Endurance Series live stream. The weekend’s features will include The Ryco 24/7 V8 Utes, Best Bars Toyota 86 Championship, and the Golden Homes 1-Hour and 3-Hour endurance races.

The Heart of Racing is partnered with the Starship Foundation to raise money for the National Children’s Intensive Care Unit. For more information, see www.theheartofracing.co.nz

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