SCC: Homestead: Automatic Racing preview

Automatic Racing Aims For Another Podium at Homestead HOMESTEAD, Fla.- Automatic Racing heads to Homestead-Miami Speedway this weekend for the Grand-Am Cup 250, where the team hopes to repeat the success they had at the track last ...

Automatic Racing Aims For Another Podium at Homestead

HOMESTEAD, Fla.- Automatic Racing heads to Homestead-Miami Speedway this weekend for the Grand-Am Cup 250, where the team hopes to repeat the success they had at the track last season.

Jep Thornton and David Russell drove the No. 09 Automatic Racing BMW M3 to a finish of third in the Grand Sports II class in 2003. The team is now part of the more competitive Grand Sports class, and the team feels they are up to the challenge of competing in the top class of the series.

"We've done a lot of development work since the opening round at Daytona," explained Russell. "Our new brake package combined with the weight reduction will certainly help us to be more competitive against the higher-horsepower cars in the class. Grand American has really done a good job of creating parity among the GS cars."

Automatic Racing is also utilizing the newer E46 model of the M3, compared to the E36 that Thornton and Russell campaigned last season.

"It's great to be back at Homestead," enthused Thornton. "Automatic Racing had a great finish here last year with a P3 podium, and we left Homestead leading GSII points race. We are looking forward to the new banking and we are excited at the large turnout in GS. It's great fun, and Miami rocks. Out come the Hawaiian shirts!"

The entry list has 55 cars, which will make Homestead's 2.3-mile track crowded. Successfully navigating through traffic will be just as important as speed, and Thornton and Russell are up to the task in the nimble BMW M3.

Automatic Racing's biggest competition will come from the Porsches, who dominated the class at Daytona last month. The debut of the new Cadillacs will add even more diversity, and more of a challenge, to the GS class.

Automatic Racing will qualify for the Grand-Am Cup 250 on Saturday from 4:30-4:45 pm. The 250-mile race will get the green flag on Sunday, March 28, at 12:30 pm.

The team's website, www.AutomaticRacing.com, allows fans to find current news about Automatic Racing and to interact with Thornton and Russell on the site's bulletin board.

-ar-

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