Automatic Racing Begins 15th Year in IMSA Continental Tire Series

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Friday, 22 January 2016 20:40
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Automatic Racing Begins 15th Year in IMSA Continental Tire Series Automatic Racing
Automatic Racing will celebrate the start of their 15th year in the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Series at Daytona International Speedway next weekend. Rob Ecklin and Al Carter will pilot the No. 99 Automatic Racing/Invisible Glass Aston Martin GT4 Vantage in the GS class at the season opener.

 

Automatic Racing is one of only a few teams that have had such impressive longevity in the Continental Tire Series. The team made its series debut in 2002 with a BMW M3 in the GS class. Since that time, the team has earned over 15 podium finishes and more than 50 top tens. In 2007, Automatic Racing earned both the GS class team and driver championships.

 

In addition to their racing pedigree, Automatic is also known for their driver development program. They have coached, tested with and guided many aspiring professional drivers, advancing their careers from club racing up to the highest levels of sports car competition.

 

“IMSA’s Continental Tire Series has always been an incredible platform for street stock racing, and we’re proud to begin our 15th year in the series,” said Team Manager David Russell. “Automatic Racing looks forward to continued success in the series, and we are excited about what the 2016 season will bring.”

 

The season opener at Daytona, which gets the green flag at 1:45 p.m. on Friday, January 29, will mark the first time that Ecklin and Carter have driven together, though neither is a stranger to Automatic Racing. Ecklin is a longtime Automatic driver, and he earned two top tens in 2015 despite driving a limited season.

 

Ecklin and Carter know each other from their days competing in Skip Barber. “It always helps to know the personality of your co-driver,” said Rob. “Al has done quite a bit of racing in the Continental Tire Series, and as new co-drivers, we’ll focus on looking at data together and learning from each other. Al has a lot of experience, so I’m looking forward to learning from him.”

 

Carter recently drove with Automatic Racing at Virginia International Raceway in 2015. The team was leading the race but ran out of gas with just minutes remaining before the checkered flag. Despite the disappointment, the race showed the competitiveness of the Aston Martin.

 

After driving full-time in the Continental Tire Series from 2011-2014, Carter joined Riley Motorsports for the Rolex 24 at Daytona in 2015. The team went on to take the GTD win at Daytona and the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup GTD Championship. Now, as the champion returns to the track where he earned a WeatherTech Series class victory, Carter is looking forward to more success.

 

“Coming off last year’s win in the 24, I’m excited to get back into the Invisible Glass Aston Martin and run at Daytona,” said Carter. “You can’t help but get goose bumps when you go through the tunnel into the track. It’s exciting to pair up with Automatic Racing again: we almost pulled off a win last August, and I’m looking forward to teaming up with Rob for another shot.”

 

Automatic Racing is sponsored by Invisible Glass, Rogue Engineering, Melbourne BMW and Redglare Records.

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Adam Sinclair

Adam has been a race fan since the first time he went through the tunnel under the Daytona International Speedway almost 30 years ago. He has had the privilege of traveling to races all across the state of Florida (as well as one race in Ohio), watching nearly everything with a motor compete for fame and glory, as well as participating in various racing schools to get the feel of what racecar drivers go through every week.  

Adam has spent the last three years covering motorsports for Examiner.com., where he had the opportunity to see the racing world from behind the scenes as well as the grandstands. He invites everyone to follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plusand looks forward to sharing his enthusiasm for all things racing with the readers of SpeedwayDigest.com.

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