Daytona Test Days Bodes Well for Automatic Racing DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Automatic Racing completed their first official test of the 2008 season during last weekend's Grand-Am Test Days at Daytona International Speedway, where the new No. 90...
Daytona Test Days Bodes Well for Automatic Racing
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Automatic Racing completed their first official test of the 2008 season during last weekend's Grand-Am Test Days at Daytona International Speedway, where the new No. 90 BMW M6 had a successful run with consistent times and performance.
The weekend marked Automatic's first Rolex Series event since they announced that they would campaign the M6 in this year's GT championship. Jep Thornton, David Russell, Joe Varde and Tom Long were all on hand to give the car a shakedown.
"We were really impressed with how consistently the car performed all weekend," remarked Russell. "There's always going to be some development with a new car, but we have a great starting package and will be fine-tuning things before the 24 Hours."
Throughout the eight practice sessions of the weekend, the Automatic Racing crew had the opportunity to adapt to their new role in the Rolex Series. "Overall the performance of the car is great and the team really rose to the challenge of moving up from KONI Challenge to run a Rolex car," commented Varde, who has the dual role of both driver and Team Manager. "We're excited about running our first race and getting all of our procedures in place."
"The car is a pleasure to drive. It's nice to have that V8 power," added Thornton. "Riley Technologies built a good car and all in all I'm really pleased with it. We're looking at the 24 Hours as a chance for further development, but we can do well if we keep the car out on track and stay consistent."
Thornton was also pleased with the performance of the championship-defending No. 09 BMW M3 in the KONI Challenge Grand Sport class. The car posted times in the top ten during each practice session.
"It's still the championship car and will be all year long," enthused Thornton. "We're happy to have Fresh From Florida with us again, too. The car felt really comfortable all weekend, and it was as good as I've ever had it."
Automatic Racing will be starting the Rolex 24 at Daytona on Saturday, January 26 in the No. 90 BMW M6. The team's four KONI Challenge BMW M3s will compete the day before in the Fresh From Florida 200.