Automatic Racing in second before a crash at Mid-Ohio. LEXINGTON, Oh. -- Automatic Racing ran as high as second in the Grand Sports II class of the Grand-Am Cup's Grand Sport 200 at Mid-Ohio before a collision sent them to the pits for ...
Automatic Racing in second before a crash at Mid-Ohio.
LEXINGTON, Oh. -- Automatic Racing ran as high as second in the Grand Sports II class of the Grand-Am Cup's Grand Sport 200 at Mid-Ohio before a collision sent them to the pits for repairs.
Jep Thornton and David Russell drove the Automatic Racing BMW M3 to a finish of 13th in class. It was a disappointing finish after being one of the quickest teams in both qualifying and practice, but a testament to the team' s speed and accuracy in making repairs.
Thornton started the race from fourth in GSII and wasted no time in moving up the field, taking second by turn one. When Thornton reached turn ten of the same lap, however, he and several other cars suddenly found their way blocked by the No. 39 GSI Corvette, which spun in front of traffic after running off the track. The left front of the Automatic Racing BMW received extensive damage from the inevitable contact with the Corvette.
Thornton drove to the pits, where the team was able to repair the front of the car, including replacing the entire front left portion, in only 15 minutes. Although the team was now 11 laps down from the leader, they were still able to make up several positions to finish 13th.
"The weekend wasn't a waste, because we got the car running really good," said Thornton. "The team did an awesome job to rebuild the car in such a short time. It's because of them that we could get back out there with enough time to still earn valuable points."
"It's very disappointing, because we had a car that would have been on the podium; it was just a matter of whether or not we'd win," reflected Russell. "On the optimistic side, Jep got us our best qualifying position of the year, we led a practice session and we had a great car."
Automatic Racing will have about three months off before the next round of the Grand-Am Cup Series.
More information about Automatic Racing can be found on the web at www.AutomaticRacing.com.