LAKEVILLE, Conn. (17 July 2019) – In extremely hot and humid conditions that challenged man and machine, the Stoner Car Care Racing fielded by Automatic Racing team managed everything the field and the historic 1.53-mile road course at Lime Rock Park could throw at them.
The two-car team accepted the challenging conditions for the two-hour Lime Rock Park 120, with drivers Rob Ecklin, Jr. and Tom Long in No. 97 Invisible Glass Aston Martin, and Gary Ferrera and Kris Wilson in the No. 99 Stoner Car Care entry knowing that temperature management would be key to surviving the conditions. Midway through the race, Michelin Racing documented air temperatures in the high 90s, track temperatures of 113, and cars giving off heat over 140 degrees.
In the No. 97 Invisible Glass Aston Martin Vantage GT4, Ecklin took the green flag in 9th position, managing the early traffic. But 30 minutes into the race, he began experiencing overheating issues in the new-for-2019 Aston Martin Vantage GT4. Throttling back and searching for air, Ecklin shut off the car’s air conditioning system to reduce the load on the car.
Jumping into the car just before the race’s midway point, Long worked to lower the temperatures while dealing with intermittent power steering failure that occurred as a result of the overheating issues. Long performed the tight walk of temperature management and race pace with aplomb, bringing the car home in 11th position.
“I had some good battles out there until we had the overheating issues,” said Ecklin. “We had to manage our pace, short shift and jump out of line when we could to get as much air flow in the car as possible. The temps would go back down, and I could go back into racing mode, but then they’d jump back up and you’d have to go back to managing mode. The Aston Martin Invisible Glass car’s handling and performance was definitely top 10 today. It was well balanced and tracked very well, it gave us plenty of confidence. Tom did a great job managing conditions as well, so kudos to him. He was able to get back out with some pace and bring the car home.”
“Our Invisible Glass Aston Martin was on rails,” said Long. “Unfortunately, it was just a little too hot and it compromised our pace a bit. We had to manage with the air conditioning off and with the power steering cutting in and out. But that made it interesting! It was hot, and hard on the shoulders and arms with no power steering, but it was all worth it in the end. I was proud to bring the car home without a scratch on it. This was a great opportunity this weekend and I hope we can do it again.”
In the team’s sister No. 99 Stoner Car Care Aston Martin, the Ferrera and Wilson were handling a different set of circumstances. Ferrera took the helm at race start, maneuvering the previous generation Aston Martin through early traffic – and through several hard hits from a competitor. Wilson took the wheel with over an hour remaining and brought the car home in 18th position.
“Hopefully we gave the crowd some good fun, with all the 'rubbin’ is racin'going on out there!” said Ferrera. “We got hit a few times early, but the old girl handled it. It was interesting, and it was a blast, even though it was absolutely baking in that car. It’s a fast car on the straights and while it was pointed in the right direction, it could leap off the corners, which saved me for a while.”
“Gary did a great job out there,” said Wilson. “He had a great stint. The old girl is getting a bit long in the tooth and the downforce is just not the same as the other cars, but she still has some life in her. It was all about managing the tires and the heat, slipping and sliding and trying to keep the tires underher. It’s difficult to find the pace on a track like this but we learned a lot today.”
NBCSN will broadcast a two-hour race recap of the Lime Rock Park 120 on Friday, July 26 at 6:00 p.m. Eastern. Next up for the Stoner Car Care Racing team will be the two-hour Road America 120 Saturday, August 3 at 5:05 p.m. Eastern, live onIMSA.tv.
About Invisible Glass
Automatic Racing sees their way to victory with Invisible Glass, the top-selling automotive glass cleaner in the United States. The Invisible Glass product line includes aerosol and spray bottle cleaner, Invisible Glass with rain repellent for windshields and wiper blades. Find more online athttps://www.invisibleglass.com/
About Stoner Car Care
Stoner Car Care produces high-performance car washes, waxes, polishes, and dressings for auto enthusiasts and car care professionals. The Stoner Car Care line-up includes Invisible Glass, America's #1 Automotive Glass Cleaner, along with many other appearance products. Whether driving, washing or waxing, Performance Matters! Stoner car care proudly formulates all of our product since 1942
About Automatic Racing
Based in Orlando, Automatic Racing is one of the longest-running teams in the paddock, forming in 2001 and competing in all but one of the 11 MICHELIN Pilot Challenge races at Daytona. The team has been developing, preparing and racing the prestigious Aston Martin Vantage GT4 since 2012. Automatic Racing won the 2017 MICHELIN Pilot Challenge title.