SCC: Lime Rock: Automatic Racing preview

Automatic Racing Has New Outlook for Grand-Am Cup at Lime Rock Lakeville, Conn. -- Automatic Racing heads to Lime Rock Park this weekend for round five of the Grand-Am Cup season, and the Grand Sport team is ready to be back in contention at...

Automatic Racing Has New Outlook for Grand-Am Cup at Lime Rock

Lakeville, Conn. -- Automatic Racing heads to Lime Rock Park this weekend for round five of the Grand-Am Cup season, and the Grand Sport team is ready to be back in contention at the front of the pack.

Jeff Segal and David Russell will be behind the wheel of the No. 90 BMW M3. Segal has qualified fourth in three races this season- the only round where he did not earn a second-row start was at Virginia International Raceway, where rain prompted officials to cancel qualifying.

During the previous round at Phoenix International Raceway, Segal ran as high as third before mechanical problems dropped the No. 90 car out of the race. The finish was a disappointment for the team, who just one week earlier stood on the podium after finishing third at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

Despite the setback, Segal and Russell are confident that Lime Rock will see them at the front once again. "Lime Rock will be an advantage for us because that track puts a lot of emphasis on braking and handling, which is great in the BMW," explained Segal. "There are more corners than straights there. The layout will be good for the Porsches, too, so they will be the cars to beat."

One additional advantage for Segal is that he has driven Lime Rock numerous times in BMW Club and Ferrari Challenge events. Segal had never driven at Laguna or Phoenix prior to the recent Grand-Am Cup events there, although his performance on track made him look like a veteran of both venues.

As for Lime Rock, Segal said that "the Downhill is really tricky. It takes a lot of confidence to get through there at speed. You're close to flat out through there. It's going to be a really busy race if we get a long green and start lapping cars that are off the pace. There aren't a lot of places to pass and you have to be creative."

Automatic Racing team owner Jep Thornton will be joined by Todd Snyder in the No. 09 BMW M3. Snyder calls Lime Rock his home track and gets plenty of laps around the circuit as a coach and instructor for the Skip Barber Racing School.

Lime Rock is a sort of home track for Thornton, too. "I'm originally from Connecticut so it's a homecoming weekend for me," he said. "I have a lot of family coming out. Todd has lots of experience there and I'm looking forward to running with him. It's going to be a fun weekend."

Nick Longhi and Emil Assentato will be sharing the No. 91 BMW M3. The pair had a strong run at Phoenix before being forced to pit for repairs after another car made contact with theirs.

The Automatic Racing drivers will qualify on Saturday, May 27 from 2:15-2:30 p.m. ET. The 200-mile Memorial Day race will get underway on Monday at 10:05 a.m.

-www.AutomaticRacing.com.

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Emil Assentato , Nick Longhi , Skip Barber , Jep Thornton , Todd Snyder , Jeff Segal , David Russell
Teams Automatic Racing