Automatic Racing to start the 3 hours of VIR from fifth on the GSII grid. ALTON, Va.- Automatic Racing had their second race ever at Virginia International Raceway in 2002, and just one year later they have become one of the top teams in the...
Automatic Racing to start the 3 hours of VIR from fifth on the GSII grid.
ALTON, Va.- Automatic Racing had their second race ever at Virginia International Raceway in 2002, and just one year later they have become one of the top teams in the Grand Sports II class of the Grand-Am Cup Series, qualifying fifth for Saturday's 3 Hours of VIR.
Jep Thornton qualified the Automatic Racing BMW M3, which he co-drives with David Russell. In the opening laps, Thornton's fast time of 2:08.770 put him at the top of the GSII entries. The team wound up fifth in the extremely competitive class. The top seven GSII qualifiers all set times within one second of each other. Automatic Racing and the teams that qualified fourth and sixth are separated by just 0.03 seconds.
Automatic Racing's goal during the race at VIR in 2002 was simply to finish the rainy endurance, but a year later the team has their sights set on the podium.
"This is our third race with the E46 BMW M3, and the car is getting better every race," commented Thornton. "We took advantage of the test day yesterday to do some work on the brakes and the car seems to be in good shape. We're really happy to have qualified fifth among the 20 GSII entries. The race is going to be fun, so we're looking forward to it."
"Last year we were here with the E36, and it was only our second race," reflected Russell. "This new car is mid-way through its development stage, and we're making a lot of strides with it. At VIR, more than any track we' ve been to, you have to find a compromise for the setup because you have such a variety of corners. So we're trying to put together something that's good in the key corners here to make the car fast."
The 3 Hours of VIR will get the green flag at 3:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday, October 4.
Fans can keep up with Automatic Racing and hear audio clips from Thornton and Russell by visiting the team's website at www.AutomaticRacing.com.
Automatic Racing is sponsored by Automatic Commercial Aircraft, LandAir, BBS, Engine Music Studios, Redline Oil and Moton Shocks.