Thornton and Segal Staying Busy Between Grand-Am Cup Rounds ORLANDO, Fla. - Automatic Racing drivers Jep Thornton and Jeff Segal have been staying busy during the break between Grand-Am Cup rounds, racing something a little bit different...
Thornton and Segal Staying Busy Between Grand-Am Cup Rounds
ORLANDO, Fla. - Automatic Racing drivers Jep Thornton and Jeff Segal have been staying busy during the break between Grand-Am Cup rounds, racing something a little bit different than their BMW M3s.
Thornton made his Rolex Series debut in January with Fiorano Racing, driving a Porsche 996 in the GT class at the Rolex 24 at Daytona. The driver of the No. 09 Skinny Cow Milk/Automatic Racing BMW M3 competed in another historic endurance race last Saturday, the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.
Thornton teamed up with J3 Racing, piloting the No. 78 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR along with Spencer Pumpelly and Mark Patterson. The team ran consistently in the GT class for ten and a half hours until motor problems forced the trio to retire. The team ended up 10th in class.
"For 54 years this race has been going on. Just the experience of being in the paddock and driving in such a historic race was something I wanted to do. My goal is to eventually get to Le Mans," said Thornton, who drove three stints during the race.
"I first got in the car around noon. The big problem we had was that our cool suit system broke. I was in the car for an hour and 20 minutes, until it ran out of gas, so it was getting really tough by the end of the stint. It was really nice during my stint at night."
Jeff Segal has been doing a different type of racing, taking time from his busy schedule at the University of Miami to race karts. The 21-year-old has been racing shifter karts every weekend in Homestead, fulfilling his need for speed in something a little smaller than the No. 90 BMW M3 he usually drives in Grand-Am Cup competition.
"I did partake in a shifter kart race with Jep, although I'll refrain from any further comment!" joked Segal, who was rumored to have won the contest. Thornton admitted he was humbled by Segal in the kart race at Homestead, but it was his first race in a shifter kart and he was happy to be able to keep other competitors behind him.
"I've also been doing a lot of cycling to stay in shape, and of course, school work!" continued Segal. "I'm pretty revved up for VIR. I can't wait to hit the track, get back to racing, and get everything else off my mind."
Thornton and Segal will join the other six Automatic Racing drivers at Virginia International Raceway for round two of the Grand-Am Cup season on Saturday, April 22.