SCC: Birmingham: Automatic Racing race notes

Automatic Racing: Flawless Execution at Barber LEEDS, Ala.--Even when everything goes right, it doesn't guarantee a trip to the podium. Automatic Racing executed a flawless program during Sunday's KONI Challenge race at Barber Motorsports Park,...

Automatic Racing: Flawless Execution at Barber

LEEDS, Ala.--Even when everything goes right, it doesn't guarantee a trip to the podium. Automatic Racing executed a flawless program during Sunday's KONI Challenge race at Barber Motorsports Park, but it still wasn't enough to best the Mustangs.

The No. 91 Automatic Racing BMW M3 of Charlie Putman and Charles Espenlaub finished sixth after running as high as second. Mark Hillestad and Barry Waddell drove the No. 99 Automatic Racing/H&S Tool M3 to 16th.

Despite an early-morning start for the 2.5-hour race, the heat and humidity were still a factor, resulting in a slick track and tire management issues. Nevertheless, the team was ready for battle in Alabama. Both of the Automatic M3s were perfectly prepared, Crew Chief Joe Varde's strategy was spot-on, and the pit stops were flawlessly executed.

Automatic Racing's status as one of the veteran teams in KONI Challenge was reflected in everything except the final results.

"We had one of our best pit stops of the season and we really hit our mark for consistency," said Putman. "The start was quite exciting: we were three-wide into turn one. After we got through that cleanly, we ran consistent lap times, but we just didn't have enough for the Mustangs."

"We were fairly quick and competitive, but we just got beat," said Waddell. "The team did a nice job, the car was good and at least we ran a clean race. The event was a real credit to the series because there was no attrition and no cautions. Everybody kept it under control."

Automatic Racing will have a three-week break before heading to Canada for the street race at Trois-Rivieres. Although it's a track that has historically rewarded the Mustangs, the team is hoping for results that better reflect their efforts.

-credit: ar

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Joe Varde , Charlie Putman , Mark Hillestad , Barry Waddell
Teams Automatic Racing