Automatic Racing Has Tough Weekend at Trois-Rivieres TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec -- The Trois-Rivieres 150 on Sunday got off to a solid start for Automatic Racing, with both teams running inside the top five in the Grand-Am Cup event, before...
Automatic Racing Has Tough Weekend at Trois-Rivieres
TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec -- The Trois-Rivieres 150 on Sunday got off to a solid start for Automatic Racing, with both teams running inside the top five in the Grand-Am Cup event, before contact and a crash brought about very different results for the Grand Sport-class team.
Jep Thornton started the No. 09 Automatic Racing BMW M3 from the fifth spot on the grid, and he ran as high as third before settling into fourth. Near the end of his stint, a backmarker went wide in turn one, giving Thornton room to pass on the inside. Before the pass was complete, however, the lapped car turned down into the corner and impacted the No. 09 BMW.
Thornton was forced to pit with a bent ball joint, and when David Russell took the car back out after repairs by the crew, the team was ten laps down. Russell was able to bring the No. 09 BMW back up to 17th before the checkered flag.
"I'm disappointed that the lapper didn't let me through," said Thornton. "I thought he was cooperating since he was two laps down and the pass wasn't for position, but he just turned in on me. Our car could have won this race, and we have a great package for the next round."
After being en route to a podium finish, the results of the race were a disappointment to the team, but the weekend on Trois-Rivieres' challenging street circuit helped them to vastly improve the car's setup. Those improvements will be an advantage when Automatic Racing heads to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in three weeks.
"Our car was really well sorted," commented Russell. "We found a balance early on in practice. We made a spring and bar change. The car was nearly perfect. This track suits the BMW well."
The No. 90 Automatic Racing BMW M3 had a tough end to their race, as well. Dave Riddle started from 15th and he worked his way up to 7th before the end of his stint. After pitting, Kris Wilson continued the chase to the front and was in fourth place when he clipped the apex wall at turn 11. Wilson did not realize the car was severely damaged until he entered turn one and was unable to avoid contact with a wall. The car had to be towed back to the pits, ending Riddle and Wilson's day.