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Keeping Up with Automatic Racing at Barber Motorsports Park ORLANDO, Fla. -- Whether it's testing, traveling or packing all of the racing possible into one weekend, Automatic Racing's six drivers stay busy, and their schedules have never been...

Keeping Up with Automatic Racing at Barber Motorsports Park

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Whether it's testing, traveling or packing all of the racing possible into one weekend, Automatic Racing's six drivers stay busy, and their schedules have never been more hectic.

As the team prepares for round five of the Grand-Am KONI Challenge Series this weekend at Barber Motorsports Park, the pilots of Automatic's three BMW M3s are at the top of their game.

Jep Thornton and Jeff Segal co-drove the No. 09 Automatic Racing Imported Car Store/Rogue Engineering/LandAir/Engine Music Studios BMW M3 to a third-place podium finish at Watkins Glen, but before he could drink too much celebratory champagne, Thornton was on a plane to Russia for business.

Now that Thornton is Stateside once again, it's Segal who has a busy schedule. In addition to his duties behind the wheel of the 09 car, Segal will also be driving a Mazda RX-8 in the Grand-Am Rolex Series race this weekend.

Perhaps no one on the team will have a more chaotic three days than Charlie Putman and Charles Espenlaub, who are also driving in two races. The big difference, though, is that they will be racing at two different tracks. They will drive the No. 91 Automatic M3 at Barber and squeeze in some World Challenge competition at Mid-Ohio.

Putman and Espenlaub will fly to Mid-Ohio Wednesday, then test Thursday and fly to Barber that night. On Friday, they will practice and qualify for Automatic before flying back to Mid-Ohio. They will qualify there Saturday morning, then arrive at Barber just in time for the race. After the checkered flag, they get on yet another plane to compete in Ohio on Sunday morning.

Rob Finlay and Steve Cameron finished in the top ten at Watkins Glen, but they have their sights aimed at the podium, so they took advantage of the short break between races to test the No. 99 Mobile-Shop.com Automatic Racing M3.

Finlay, Cameron and the Automatic crew traveled straight from upstate New York to South Carolina to get some laps in around Carolina Motorsports Park. They worked to achieve a comfortable setup for both drivers, and tested various spring combinations and brake packages.

"Joe Varde did a great job working through different scenarios, and now going to the races we have a better idea which direction to go as we fine-tune the car for each track," commented Cameron.

-credit: ar

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Charles Espenlaub , Jep Thornton , Jeff Segal , Joe Varde , Rob Finlay , Charlie Putman , Steve Cameron
Teams Automatic Racing