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Automatic Racing battles to top ten finish in BMW Performance 200 at Daytona

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On Friday, Jan. 24, Automatic Racing began the 2014 IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge season with drivers Rob Ecklin and Charles Espenlaub bringing the No. 99 Automatic Racing/Invisible Glass Aston Martin Vantage GT4 to a tenth place finish at Daytona International Speedway.

"I thought the car drove very comfortably for me, so I felt good out there on the track and we were able to run a decent pace," Ecklin said. "We got tenth, so that’s a great start to the season.”

The 2.5 hour race marked the first time that both drivers have been behind the wheel of the team’s GS-class Aston Martin. Ecklin started the race after qualifying 19th, then handed over to Espenlaub during one of the race’s many full-course cautions.

“It’s always fun racing with Automatic, and getting a top ten makes it even nicer,” said Espenlaub. “The car ran great for us all day, and it will be exciting to see its progress over the next few rounds.”

Automatic Racing, sponsored by Invisible Glass, Formula 43, Rogue Engineering, Melbourne BMW, Swiftwick, and Redglare Records, will head to Sebring International Raceway for round two on Friday, March 14, with their focus on improving from a top ten at Daytona to a top five at Sebring.

“We’re a little down on power, but we’ve got the handling better than ever,” noted Automatic Racing’s engineer Jackson Stewart. “The car came through Daytona clean, so we can continue making progress as we head into Sebring. I think we can be a top-five car at Sebring.”

The West Palm Beach Motorsports Examiner would once gain like to thank all the public relations personnel involved with the TUDOR United Sportscar Championship for making this reporter feel at home and at ease during the fifty-second running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona. Special thanks go out to Beth Dolgner, Tom Moore, and Dean Case for taking the time to meet and share ideas and information about the series and the future.

Though there are still quite a few stories to be told about the Rolex 24, next week the focus shifts towards stock cars, with coverage of the events leading up to the Great American Race at the end of February, including an interview with perennial contender David Ragan.

Be sure to subscribe to the West Palm Beach Motorsports Examiner, and keep track of your favorite racers, no matter how many (or how few) wheels they may or may not race on. If you're a motorsports fan, and know of an event, team, or person you'd like to see profiled, please let me know. Also, be sure to follow me on twitter, and read my articles about local getaways,HOAs,elections, and restaurants.

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