SCC: Daytona: Jep Thornton preview

Jep Thornton Making Rolex Series Debut at Daytona ORLANDO, Fla. -- Automatic Racing team owner and driver Jep Thornton will have a busy weekend at Daytona International Raceway during the start of the Grand American racing season from January ...

Jep Thornton Making Rolex Series Debut at Daytona

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Automatic Racing team owner and driver Jep Thornton will have a busy weekend at Daytona International Raceway during the start of the Grand American racing season from January 26-29. In addition to returning for his fourth full season in Grand-Am Cup, Thornton will also be making his debut in the Rolex Series.

Thornton will be behind the wheel of the No. 22 Fiorano Racing Porsche GT3 Cup for the Rolex 24 at Daytona, marking the first time that the Orlando, Florida resident has driven in the series. He will be joining Jean-Francois Dumoulin, Lonnie Pechnik and Automatic Racing drivers Nick Longhi and Emil Assentato in the Porsche.

"I'm really looking forward to driving in the Rolex Series. I'll be competing with a great group of drivers and Fiorano has proven to be a solid team. I'm also excited about being a part of such an historic race," said Thornton.

Thornton started his professional racing career in 2002, joining the Grand-Am Cup Series for the final five races of the season. He had immediate success, finishing top ten in the Grand Sport II class in four of those races. Last season, Thornton led Automatic Racing to fifth in the Grand Sport team championship.

"This is really the next step in my racing career," said Thornton, who tested the Fiorano Porsche during Test Days at Daytona earlier this month. "The car is a lot of fun to drive. It has a lot more power than a Grand-Am Cup car, but it handled so smoothly that it was easy to adjust to the speed. I think the real challenge is going to be the faster Daytona Prototypes coming past. I'm going from the fastest class in Grand-Am Cup, to being the slowest class in the Rolex Series."

The Rolex 24 at Daytona begins at noon on Saturday, January 28.

-ar

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Emil Assentato , Jean-Francois Dumoulin , Jep Thornton , Lonnie Pechnik
Teams Automatic Racing