Automatic Racing Hopes for Different Results at Watkins Glen WATKINS GLEN, NY -- Automatic Racing has a success story from every track on the Grand-Am Cup schedule except for Watkins Glen International. As the series heads to the track for...
Automatic Racing Hopes for Different Results at Watkins Glen
WATKINS GLEN, NY -- Automatic Racing has a success story from every track on the Grand-Am Cup schedule except for Watkins Glen International. As the series heads to the track for this weekend's Chemung Canal Trust 200, the Grand Sport-class team hopes to change that.
Jep Thornton and David Russell debuted the No. 09 Automatic Racing BMW M3 in the Grand-Am Cup Series race at Watkins Glen in 2002, but their race ended early because of a crash. The 2003 race was even more disappointing, as motor problems kept the team from taking the starting grid.
Last year, Automatic Racing's luck seemed to be taking a turn for the better. Thornton was running at the front of the field and took the lead on a restart. But, less than one lap later, the Watkins Glen curse struck again when Thornton got hit and sent into a wall.
Three years of bad luck are tempered by three years of development and growth as a team, and Automatic Racing hopes that this weekend they can further their standing in the championship by earning a strong finish.
"The problem is we've never finished a race at Watkins Glen," said Thornton. "This year we're going to finish. We led last year, but we want to have a good finish that will help our points chase. With a race the next weekend, we want to keep the car in good shape, too."
"We've proven that we can run up front at this track," commented Russell. "If we can have a clean race, I think we can put in a good finish. The competition in the series has gotten a lot tougher, but we made a lot of improvements with the car in testing last week."
Automatic Racing's second entry, the No. 90 BMW M3 with drivers Kris Wilson and Dave Riddle, will be at Watkins Glen for the first time.
The two cars will be out in practice on Friday, and will qualify with the rest of the Grand Sport cars on Saturday, June 11 at 11:10 a.m. The race will be held that same day, beginning at 2:00 p.m.
Automatic Racing is sponsored by Automatic LLC, LandAir, Engine Studios, Rogue Engineering, Lynch Imports, Moton Shocks and Fikse Wheels.
Fans can keep up with Automatic Racing at www.AutomaticRacing.com.