SEBRING, Fla.- Automatic Racing has been busy during the three-month break in the Grand-Am Cup schedule developing their Grand Sports II BMW E46 M3. The team's hard work was put to the test during two days of testing at Sebring International ...
SEBRING, Fla.- Automatic Racing has been busy during the three-month break in the Grand-Am Cup schedule developing their Grand Sports II BMW E46 M3. The team's hard work was put to the test during two days of testing at Sebring International Raceway, August 29-30.
Automatic Racing took both of their BMW M3s, one of which is an older E36 model, to Sebring. Drivers Jep Thornton and David Russell focused their efforts on the E46.
The team debuted the E46 M3, fondly dubbed "the blue car" because of its electric blue paint job, during the Grand-Am Cup race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The car was a top-ten finisher from the start and as the new M3 model was further developed for racing, it was poised to be the top car in the GSII class.
After finishing third at Phoenix International Raceway, the motor blew at California Speedway, and Automatic Racing took the break in races to have the motor completely rebuilt and to resolve oiling issues.
"The balance is improved on the car now," commented Russell. "We've also done some development work on the brakes and they're more progressive. It's pretty exciting. The blue car is even more user-friendly than the E36. It' s very responsive to steering input due to the increased rigidity compared to the older E36."
"The car ran really great," added Thornton. "It's a fun car to drive. It's different than the E36- a bit wider and stiffer- so it handles more like a formula car than a sports car. It sits well on the road. It has good power, handles well and we're really pleased with the improved performance."
With all of the improvements made in the E46, Automatic Racing has decided to campaign it as the team's primary car. It will carry the No. 09 for the first time next weekend at Mosport.
Automatic Racing is sponsored by Automatic Commercial Aircraft, LandAir, BBS, Engine Music Studios, Redline Oil and Moton Shocks.
More information about Automatic Racing can be found on the Internet at www.AutomaticRacing.com.