SCC: Daytona: Automatic Racing preview

Automatic Racing Prepares for Season Opener at Daytona DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- The Daytona 200 on Friday, February 4 will kick off the 2005 Grand-Am Cup Season, and Automatic Racing will start their Grand Sports championship chase with the No. 09...

Automatic Racing Prepares for Season Opener at Daytona

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- The Daytona 200 on Friday, February 4 will kick off the 2005 Grand-Am Cup Season, and Automatic Racing will start their Grand Sports championship chase with the No. 09 and 90 BMW M3's.

Jep Thornton and David Russell are beginning their third full season of competition in the No. 09 machine, while Dave Riddle and Kris Wilson are teaming up in the No. 90 BMW.

Thornton and Russell finished fourth in the GSII championship in 2003, then transitioned to the Grand Sports (GS) class for 2004, where they finished 7th. At the same time, the team became the first in the series to race the E46 model of the BMW M3, and Automatic Racing developed and tested the new race car throughout the two seasons.

Now, with plenty of development work completed and a new season beginning, Thornton and Russell are heading to Daytona ready to vie for the championship.

"We've had good success at Daytona with two top-ten's, including a podium finish. It's our home track, too," said Thornton. "We've spent a lot of time and resources to develop the car, and I think we really have it working well now. We're pleased to have Dave and Kris on board with us in the 90 car, as well."

"We think we've made some big strides with the E46," added Russell. "We've overcome some potential reliability issues, and the package is better now than it ever has been. We think we have the combination that will win in 2005. We just have to keep our heads down and bring it home."

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Jep Thornton , Dave Riddle , Kris Wilson , David Russell
Teams Automatic Racing