ORLANDO, Fla.-Automatic Racing has stayed busy this summer, putting in nearly 700 hours to further the competitiveness of their BMW M3 and Aston Martin Vantage GT4 race cars. The team will have one final test at Lime Rock Park next week before heading to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for round nine of the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge.
Automatic Racing took time following round six at Road America to concentrate on further development of both cars. The team is excited about their progress, although it came at a cost: they did not get to participate in the inaugural race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
"I'm really disappointed we didn't make Indy," says Team Manager David Russell. "However, it gave us a chance to make a lot of strides with both cars. We had been working on a lot of details, and we've really moved forward with the competiveness of the cars. We're excited about the things we've learned and put into use, and we're looking forward to Laguna."
Automatic, now in its eleventh year of GRAND-AM competition, has always been eager to hone the competitiveness of new cars, like the Vantage. They were the first team to enter the E46 model of the BMW M3 in street-stock racing, winning the Grand Sport championship with the car in 2007.
The progress made with both cars has been a team effort, but Russell is quick to note that engineer Larry Hahn and Lead Mechanic Dan Paskan have been instrumental in the work. "Dan is very detail-oriented and makes sure that every aspect is taken care of. It really shows with his car preparation. Larry brings a wealth of experience to the team, and he's been a real leader in developing the cars because of his innovative style," says Russell.
Automatic Racing has several exciting events planned for round nine at Laguna Seca, with details to be announced soon. The line-up for the race will include Rob Ecklin and Steve Phillips in the No. 99 Invisible Glass BMW M3, and Tim Fox and Kris Wilson in the No. 140 Fox Rehabilitation Aston Martin Vantage.
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