Automatic Racing is once again taking part in the California 8 Hours next month, bringing its #99 Invisible Glass/Automatic Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT4 and an All-American three-driver lineup to WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
Automatic Racing and its returning trio of drivers will be competing in the final round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge, October 26 – 28, for the second-consecutive year. Team drivers Charlie Putman, Charles Espenlaub and Eric Lux bring extensive endurance racing resumes and experience with Automatic Racing after the trio drove with the team in the inaugural California 8 Hours last year.
“We have a really good driver lineup and, in the Aston Martin, the best of all the GT4 cars, I believe”, Automatic Racing team owner David Russell said. “Laguna Seca really fits the Aston Martin well, and the track is a favorite of myself and of the team. We’re coming back with exactly what we had there last year – the same car, the same team and the same program.”
In just its second year as part of the Intercontinental GT Challenge, the California 8 Hours is attracting top endurance drivers from all over the world. It is the fourth round of this unique worldwide endurance series of long-distance GT racing put on by SRO Motorsports Group. The three other events have been the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour in Australia, the Total 24 Hours of Spa in Belgium and the Suzuka 10 Hours in Japan.
“They’ve really stepped up the competition this year”, Russell said. "The field is double in size and we’re looking forward to it.”
Automatic Racing has a bit of added incentive for this year’s race, based on what happened at the inaugural event. The team was involved in a race-ending crash on just the third lap.
“I guess we have to get a bit of redemption”, Russell said. “You could say we have some unfinished business at this race."
As far as race strategy, Russell said the key is having a plan and sticking to it.
“You’ve got to set your pace and stick to your plan”, Russell said. "That’s the key. You have to run the pace you’ve established ahead of time. We have a fast car and a seasoned driving team so we’re confident of our chances to do really well in this race.”
“I’m looking forward to getting back with my friends at Automatic Racing and seeing a lot of people in America since I’ve been in Europe the entire year”, Charlie Putman said. “For me it’s going to be a social experience, but it’s going to be a serious experience on the track."
“I can't wait to return to Laguna Seca with Automatic Racing, Aston Martin, and teammates Charles Espenlaub and Charlie Putman”, Eric Lux said. “Laguna Seca is one of my favorite circuits in North America. Charles and Charlie have had a stellar season in Europe and we are all very hungry to close this season out with a win for David Russell and the rest of the Automatic Racing team. We came so close to a win at Watkins Glen earlier this year during the IMSA race, and last year at Laguna Seca we did not have a chance to show the car's potential. We certainly have the team, car and lineup to be a front-running team!”