ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (1 August -2019) – Racing on one of America’s fastest circuits that has established a reputation for close finishes, Automatic Racing will stage a two-car MSA Michelin Pilot Challenge entry for Stoner Car Care Racing at Road America this weekend (IMSA.tv. 5:00 PM ET).
The team arrives at the Wisconsin circuit with the momentum of a strong weekend performance in their last outing, with the squad looking forward to the opportunity to continue to develop the new Aston Martin Vantage GT4 in this weekend’s two-hour sprint on Saturday.
Automatic Racing will field the No. 97 Invisible Glass Aston Martin Vantage, with primary driver Rob Ecklin Jr. having led at Watkins Glen and scoring a strong qualifying effort at Lime Rock Park being joined by co-driver Ramin Abdolvahabi for Saturday’s race.
The No. 09 Stoner Car Care Products/Invisible Glass/Rogue Engineering/Melbourne BMW Aston Martin Vantage GT4 is coming off its best qualifying effort of the season in the most recent event at Lime Rock Park. Carrying the Stoner Car Care colors, the Vantage will boast a revised driver line up as Aston Martin Academy driver Akhil Rabindra has joined the team as a co-driver with Kris Wilson.
The 23-year-old driver from Bangalore, India will be making his debut in American competition. A graduate of Scotland’s University of Edinburgh, Rabindra races a similar Aston Martin Vantage in the GT4 European Series for ProSport Performance, where he won in the 24 Hour GT Series European at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium in April as well as at Brands Hatch in May.
Prior to joining the McLaren GT Driver Academy in 2017 to race sports cars, Rabindra raced karts starting in 2011, and then moved to formula cars in Europe and Asia in 2012, going on to win four championships and build an impressive resume over five years in open-wheel racing.
“It’s always been one of my dreams, to race in the U.S,” said Rabindra. “Coming here and proving yourself is something I really look forward to. And this is a good place to start, as this track is quite British, with all the undulations, the cracks in the road, the bumps. The barriers are fairly close in some places, so that makes it even more challenging. It’s a proper old-school track. The track has a mix of corners, with good overtaking spots, so I think it should mean good racing. The Aston Martin should be good here: I’ve driven many different GT4s and the Aston Martin is one the best. It’s well-balanced, good on tires, good aero and good mechanical grip. I’m looking forward to having the best weekend we can – Kris and I will give it our best!”
Racing in the States can be a big transition for some, but team owner David Russell is confident in the new addition to the lineup with the Aston Martin Academy driver on board.
“We’re still learning the car and since this car has never been here before, it’s uncharted territory,’ said Automatic Racing owner David Russell. “But the Aston Martin should be quite good here: there doesn’t seem to be a track where pace is an issue. We love the racetrack and the town is fabulous, so it’s a team favorite.”
“Akhil has not been here before but he’s been on the sim at Aston Martin, so he’s tuned up,” said Russel. “He’ll be good right out of the box, we just need to get him some laps. Kris will be good as well, and Rob and Ramin have been here with us several times before. We’ll try two different setups and compare notes before the race. And the weather’s great, which helps!”
Official practice for the Road America gets underway with two sessions on Friday. GS qualifying begins at 10:40 a.m. on Saturday (all times CT), followed by the Road America 120, a two-hour race that takes the green flag at 4:05 p.m ET
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 at https://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.