Automatic Racing Earns Two Top-Ten Finishes At Watkins Glen WATKINS GLEN, NY -- The old saying is that the third time is the charm, but for Automatic Racing, success at Watkins Glen came on their fourth visit to the historic venue. The team...
Automatic Racing Earns Two Top-Ten Finishes At Watkins Glen
WATKINS GLEN, NY -- The old saying is that the third time is the charm, but for Automatic Racing, success at Watkins Glen came on their fourth visit to the historic venue. The team put both of their BMW M3s in the top ten in round five of the Grand-Am Cup Series, the Chemung Canal Trust 200, on Saturday.
Jep Thornton and David Russell drove the Grand Sport-spec No. 09 BMW M3 from 17th to ninth, recording the team's first-ever finish at the track. Over the past three years, two crashes and a motor failure have kept Thornton and Russell from finishing a Grand-Am Cup event at Watkins Glen. They were elated to have a successful race, especially with only one week to prepare for round six at Mosport International Raceway.
"I was very happy to have the P9 result for the 09 car," enthused Thornton. "This is the first race at Watkins Glen that the Automatic Racing team has finished in its four year history. We were dealing with several issues with the car during the weekend, so a P9 was satisfying. I was also very happy to see the 90 have a top ten finish as they have been having some bad luck over the last several races."
"There was a lot of traffic, but it was mostly cars in our own class because of all the restarts," said Russell. "Most of it was battling for position. There was so much carnage. It was a triumph for us. For us to be able to advance in points this weekend was a big benefit for the team."
Dave Riddle and Kris Wilson went from 27th on the starting grid to finish eighth overall and in the Grand Sport class in the No. 90 Automatic Racing BMW M3. It is the first top-ten finish for them this season.
Riddle commented that the eighth-place finish "shows what we can do. I'd never been here before and it took me a while to learn the track. It's a fast track, and I loved it. We're really excited about our finish."
"Everything was happening in front of me- cars hitting each other and getting sideways- so I took advantage of it," said Wilson. "We were able to stay clean through the entire race, and that was really an accomplishment considering how crazy it got out there."
The team is off to Canada this weekend for the Mosport 200, which will be held on Sunday, June 19.
Fans can keep up with Automatic Racing at www.automaticracing.com.