Utah: Automatic Racing preview

Automatic Racing Looking for a Podium in the Desert at Miller TOOELE, Utah -- Automatic Racing heads West for the last time in 2007 for the Grand-Am Cup 200 at the new Miller Motorsports Park this weekend, where the team hopes to be on the...

Automatic Racing Looking for a Podium in the Desert at Miller

TOOELE, Utah -- Automatic Racing heads West for the last time in 2007 for the Grand-Am Cup 200 at the new Miller Motorsports Park this weekend, where the team hopes to be on the podium once again.

The driver lineup for the Grand Sport team has a new name on it with Joe Varde climbing behind the wheel to co-drive with Jeff Segal in the No. 90 Automatic Racing BMW M3. Varde is Automatic Racing's team manager, but this weekend marks the first time that the veteran has competed under the Automatic Racing banner.

Varde's addition to the lineup is good news for 21-year-old Segal, who has been on the podium twice this season. Each time, he was joined by a co-driver who was making their debut on the team. At Laguna Seca in May, Segal and Joao Barbosa drove to a finish of third. Segal got on the third tier of the podium again at Barber Motorsports Park in July with guest driver Terry Borcheller.

Now, Segal hopes to parlay his pairing with Varde into another podium finish. "I'm really excited about driving with Joe," he said. "Joe has won more races and more championships than I could ever hope to. We work well together in our relationship as driver and team manager, so I'm expecting good things from our driving together."

Segal had the opportunity to test at Miller recently, getting his first taste of the desert track. "I'd heard it was a tricky place so I wanted to go early. I'm sure it will be a blast to race there. The track is long enough that it has a little bit of everything, so it's hard to say what kind of car it will favor. It should be an interesting race."

Dave Riddle and Kris Wilson will once again pilot the No. 09 Automatic Racing BMW M3. Both drivers participated in a lapping day at Miller in July, getting a head start at learning the challenging 4.5-mile, 24-turn course.

"It's really nondescript, so it's difficult to know where you are on the track and to know where the turns are," said Riddle of the desert terrain. "It just winds through the desert. It's the opposite of a track like Laguna Seca, where there are plenty of references to use. Miller has an amazing facility and the quality of the track is great."

-credit: automatic racing

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Terry Borcheller , Joao Barbosa , Jeff Segal , Dave Riddle , Kris Wilson
Teams Automatic Racing