Winning the GT Daytona class in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring in 2015 was a huge boost in the career of Alex Riberas. This weekend, the native of Barcelona is looking to add a second victory here — in his first race as a resident of the United States.

“Winning at Sebring with Alex Job was the biggest thing I had done in my career,” Riberas recalled. “It was a massive boom, and thanks to that race, I managed to become professional that year. So I feel I owe a lot of my personal life to this particular circuit, and every time I come here I feel grateful.”

Riberas will run the full 2019 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in the GTD class, co-driving the No. 19 Moorespeed Bardahl Audi R8 LMS GT3 with Will Hardman. Andrew Davis — set for his 11th attempt at the 12 Hours — completes the line-up.

Moorespeed Audi R8 LMS GT3. Image by Jake Galstad/LAT.

“Sebring is always special, but this edition especially is going to be one of the greatest events in history. It’s an amazing pleasure and a blessing to be even a small part of it,” Riberas added. “It’s going to take a huge amount of factors all working in the right direction to win this race. I heard there’s probably going to be rain coming for Saturday. Strategy-wise and driver-wise, we all need to be on our ‘A’ game in order to win this race.”

Riberas recently realized a longtime dream when he moved to Austin, Texas, to be closer to the Moorespeed team base and his co-driver.

“I want to be part of the Moorespeed project for the long term,” Riberas said. “It’s a brand-new project — we started from scratch — and it takes a lot of work, and I’m very much involved in it. When we ran the Rolex 24 At Daytona, I was still living in Europe. So this is the first time in America where I didn’t come from Europe to race — I came from Austin. It feels like the start of something that will be very special. Will is one of the best gentlemen drivers I’ve seen so far in the paddock, and the fact that we are living so close together gives us a strong opportunity to work hard and train together. Hopefully, we will fight together for big things in the future.”

Another advantage of living in Austin is its closeness to America’s lone Formula 1 track.

“I’m at COTA all the time,” he said. “I was there for the Ferrari Challenge, the World Challenge, everything. I was there to watch, drive and coach. Everything. It’s only 20 minutes away.

“Living in America has been my dream since 2013, when I first came here. I’ve been following this dream, trying to make it happen for all these years. It means a lot to me, so my family supports me.”