Automatic Racing ready for sun and speed in the Dominican Republic ORLANDO, Fla. -- Automatic Racing will be a part of Grand-Am Cup history as the series heads to Santo Domingo's Autodromo Las Americas this weekend for their inaugural race in...
Automatic Racing ready for sun and speed in the Dominican Republic
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Automatic Racing will be a part of Grand-Am Cup history as the series heads to Santo Domingo's Autodromo Las Americas this weekend for their inaugural race in the Dominican Republic. After a strong start in the season opener at the Daytona 200, Automatic Racing hopes to be at the front of the field for the Miller Grand-Am Cup 200 on Sunday, March 13.
Jep Thornton and David Russell will be sharing the No. 09 Automatic Racing BMW M3. Thornton qualified second overall and in the Grand Sports class for the Daytona 200, the team's first front-row start in Grand-Am Cup. Thornton and Russell went on to finish fourth in the race, and they will be aiming for the podium in Santo Domingo.
"I'm looking forward to the fans in the Dominican Republic, and also to being on a level playing field in regard to the track," commented Thornton. "With the cars being returned to Florida not long before round three in California, the trick is going to be finishing clean. I'm looking forward to hanging out on the beach, too!"
Russell added, "I think the advantage for us will be that almost no one has driven this track. It will be interesting to see how people acclimate. I think that environment suits our team well. It's a different kind of track, and I expect the results to be better than they were at Daytona, where the Mustangs had a horsepower advantage. One of the things that's going to hurt us, though, is the addition of 100 pounds to our car since Daytona."
Automatic Racing will also be fielding the No. 90 BMW of Dave Riddle and Kris Wilson. Contact early in the race at Daytona made driving tough throughout the remainder of the race, but they persevered to the checkered flag. Now, the No. 90 entry is repaired and Riddle and Wilson are ready to take on Autodromo Las Americas.
"It's going to be fun going to a different country, even though I get to do that for most of the rounds," joked Riddle, a Vancouver resident. "The downside is that it takes me two days to get there. But the weather's going to be just great, and I'm looking forward to improving our standing in the championship."
"I'm ready to hang out on the beach!" enthused Wilson. "It will be like a vacation. Hopefully we'll be contenders this weekend. We'll have to see how our car handles with the added weight."
The Miller Grand-Am Cup 200, which will feature just the Grand Sports class, will be held at 2:00 pm on Sunday, March 13. Thornton and Riddle will qualify the day before, beginning at 1:00 pm.