Automatic Racing Earns Two Top Tens at Lime Rock LAKEVILLE, Conn. -- Round five of the KONI Challenge Grand Sport season resulted in two top-ten finishes for the Automatic Racing/Fresh from Florida BMW M3s, moving teammates Jep Thornton and...
Automatic Racing Earns Two Top Tens at Lime Rock
LAKEVILLE, Conn. -- Round five of the KONI Challenge Grand Sport season resulted in two top-ten finishes for the Automatic Racing/Fresh from Florida BMW M3s, moving teammates Jep Thornton and Jeff Segal up to second in the driver championship running.
Thornton drove the first stint in the No. 09 Automatic/Fresh from Florida BMW, holding down a position in the top ten before handing over to Segal. Unfortunately, contact from another car during Segal's stint forced him to pit and the team dropped back.
Undaunted, Segal got to work making up positions. He was soon back in the top ten, and he worked his way up to sixth before the checkered flag.
Thornton and Segal have been earning consistent top finishes in the No. 09 BMW, and that consistency has paid off with a second-place standing in the GS driver points.
"It was a very crazy race with lots of drama and tough racing," said Thornton. "Our goal at Lime Rock was to stay ahead of the three Mustangs that we are competing with in the points, and we accomplished that. We're happy with where we are in the points going into the halfway point in the season at Mosport. Our mission now is consistency and as many top fives as we can do."
"John Terry and Joe Varde worked hard to give us a great car," said Segal. "We had a couple of unfortunate incidents that sent us to the back, and I worked hard to get us back to the front. I'm a little disappointed because we had a car that could have been on the podium."
Tom Long and David Russell finished just behind their teammates, taking seventh in the No. 99 Automatic Racing/Fresh from Florida BMW M3. Russell had the car in the lead during his stint after starting the race in fourth.
Following a routine pit stop, Long got back on track in 12th. He moved up to third while he put down the fast laps, and at one point Long had the quickest car on the track. As the laps wound down, though, the tires began to fade and Long was unable to keep up his pace, slipping back to seventh before the checkered flag.
"David had a fantastic first stint, and it was great to see the Fresh from Florida car up front for so long," said Long. "I was excited to jump in the car and kept it up front until the third caution. In hindsight we should have taken on left side tires, but we got a good finish and the car had a perfect setup."
Jon Miller and Owen Trinkler drove to a finish of 14th in the No. 90 Automatic Racing BMW M3, which is sponsored by Weeden Consultants. The No. 91 Automatic BMW of Tim George, Jr. and Conrad Grunewald had a tough day, retiring early after the car impacted a wall following a spin.
Automatic Racing will be back on track from June 15-17 at Mosport International Raceway.