SCC: Laguna Seca: Automatic Racing preview

Automatic Racing Set to Head West for Grand-Am Cup at Laguna MONTEREY, Calif. -- Automatic Racing returns to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca this weekend for round three of the Grand-Am Cup Series, just two weeks after a wild but successful weekend...

Automatic Racing Set to Head West for Grand-Am Cup at Laguna

MONTEREY, Calif. -- Automatic Racing returns to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca this weekend for round three of the Grand-Am Cup Series, just two weeks after a wild but successful weekend at Virginia International Raceway. After a strong performance last year at the historic track, Automatic Racing heads to Laguna with high hopes for all four of their Grand Sport BMW M3s.

The start of Grand-Am Cup's Western swing will see some new faces in the Automatic pits. Lonnie Pechnik is no stranger to the Grand American paddock, but the local resident will be behind the wheel of the No. 09 Automatic Racing BMW for the first time. His co-driver Jep Thornton has little doubt that Pechnik will be an asset to the team.

"He's from Monterey, so Laguna is his home track," said Thornton. "I anticipate that we'll do well together. We're also really looking for good things from Jeff Segal in the 90 car. He's quick, a great member of our team and we're anxious to provide him with the platform to advance his racing career."

Jeff Segal in the No. 90 BMW will also have a different co-driver. Joao Barbosa will be marking his debut with Automatic Racing, but he and Segal drove together in the Rolex Series last season, earning a best finish of fifth in the GT class during a six-hour race at Mont-Tremblant.

Segal has had success at many of the tracks on the series schedule, but Laguna will be a new experience for him. The 20-year-old college student said that he does his homework on new tracks by driving them on his Playstation.

"Most of the tracks I've been to in the last year have been new to me, so I've gotten good at going to a track and figuring out what to do in the first three or four laps," Segal remarked. "I feel like I'm already comfortable with Laguna from all the laps I've gotten in on my Playstation! I think it's going to be a cool experience. The track suits our car well and the pieces are in place for us to have a good finish."

Emil Assentato and Nick Longhi will be sharing the No. 91 BMW M3, and Dave Riddle and Kris Wilson will be behind the wheel of the No. 99 BMW.

The Grand-Am Cup race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca will begin at 2:45 p.m. on Saturday, May 6.

-www.AutomaticRacing.com.

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Emil Assentato , Nick Longhi , Lonnie Pechnik , Jeff Segal , Dave Riddle , Kris Wilson
Teams Automatic Racing