LEXINGTON, Oh. - Jep Thornton piloted the No. 09 Automatic Racing BMW M3 to a fourth-place qualifying position in the Grand Sports II class for the Grand Sport 200 at Mid-Ohio. Thornton was third in class until the final lap of qualifying, when...
LEXINGTON, Oh. - Jep Thornton piloted the No. 09 Automatic Racing BMW M3 to a fourth-place qualifying position in the Grand Sports II class for the Grand Sport 200 at Mid-Ohio.
Thornton was third in class until the final lap of qualifying, when he moved to fourth. His time of 1:38.600 earned him his best qualifying position ever in the Grand-Am Cup Series.
"I had never driven the track until this weekend, but I love it," enthused Thornton. "It's so much fun. We're so happy about this after the problems we had at Watkins-Glen. We're looking forward to the race. The car is running perfect, the weather is gorgeous and the track is great."
Thornton and co-driver David Russell worked hard in Friday's practice sessions to assure that the car was at its best for qualifying.
"We made a big change to the car's setup, and that's where we got a lot more time," commented Russell. "It was really a team effort, and it made a big difference."
Automatic Racing set the quickest time in the Grand Sports II during Friday afternoon's practice session, topping the time sheets at 1/10th of a second below the existing track record for the class.
Thornton, who is a big sports fan, decided to celebrate his best qualifying position by heading to Cincinnati for the afternoon to watch the Cleveland Indians and the Cincinnati Reds baseball game.
The Grand Sport 200 at Mid-Ohio will get underway on Sunday, June 29, at noon. Fans can find race results and audio quotes from Thornton and Russell on the team's website, located at www.AutomaticRacing.com.
Automatic Racing is sponsored by Automatic Commercial Aircraft, LandAir, BBS, Engine Music Studios, Redline Oil and Moton Shocks.