SCC: Phoenix: Automatic Racing qualifying notes

Automatic Racing qualifies 5th and 6th at Phoenix. PHOENIX, Ariz.- Automatic Racing qualified fifth and sixth for the United Auto 200 Grand Sports race at Phoenix International Raceway, the best starting positions the team has earned this ...

Automatic Racing qualifies 5th and 6th at Phoenix.

PHOENIX, Ariz.- Automatic Racing qualified fifth and sixth for the United Auto 200 Grand Sports race at Phoenix International Raceway, the best starting positions the team has earned this season.

The new No. 90 BMW M3 qualified fifth in the Grand Sports II (GSII) class and 12th among the combined field of GSI and II cars. Terry Earwood drove the car to a fast lap time of 1:09.668 (78.027 mph).

"We're really happy with the qualifying position," said Earwood.  "We've
been working on the car all week.  With so many cars less than a second
apart in times, it ought to be a great race.  Our car gets a little better
every time we get in it.  Our boys have really been working hard."

Earwood will be joined by co-driver Eric Van Cleef for the race.

The No. 09 Automatic Racing BMW M3, which currently has the GSII points lead, qualified sixth in class and 13th overall, just 0.03 seconds behind their sister car. Jep Thornton's time of 1:09.698 (77.994 mph) gave the No. 09 car its highest qualifying position since the team began racing in Grand-Am Cup last year.

"Phoenix is a great track for this car," commented Thornton. "I like the track a lot, and it's the first time I've driven it. I've gotten a lot of track time in practice. The car is great, the weather is beautiful, and we' re really happy."

Thornton and David Russell hope to run a consistent race to maintain their points lead. They feel that Phoenix International Raceway is a track where their BMW M3 will be highly competitive because of the technical nature of the layout.

The United Auto 200 Grand Sports race gets underway on Saturday, May 3, at 1:00 pm. It will be 200 miles in length around Phoenix International Raceway's 1.51-mile road course.

Automatic Racing is sponsored by Automatic Commercial Aircraft, BBS, LandAir and Engine Music Studios. More information about Automatic Racing, including audio clips and race results, can be found on the team's website at www.AutomaticRacing.com.

-ar-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Jep Thornton , Terry Earwood , David Russell
Teams Automatic Racing