Mansfield, Ohio (2 May 2019) – After seven week break in IMSA action, the Stoner Car Care Racing team fielded by Automatic Racing will be back to competition this weekend as the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge heads to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. At two hours long, the Saturday race utilizes the sprint format for the second consecutive round.
The team has been eager to return to action since the Sebring outing in March, which saw a strong run from the new No. 97 Invisible Glass Aston Martin Vantage GT4 with drivers Rob Ecklin, Jr. (Lancaster, Penn.) and Ramin Abdolvahabi combining for a run to 19th in the beautiful new machine.
This weekend, Ecklin Jr. returns to the cockpit alongside his Daytona co-driver Brandon Kidd (Syracuse, New York) as the duo look to quickly learn how the Aston Martin GT4 takes to the 2.258-mile natural terrain track set in rural Ohio.
The Mid-Ohio circuit is one that has long been a fan and driver favorite, and joined the IMSA schedule for the first time in 2018. While the 2018 edition of the race didn’t see any racing luck for Eckin and Kidd with a pit lane encounter costing the team a promising outing, the race is one that the duo have been looking forward to since Sebring.
“Mid Ohio is a great track-it’s really got a lot of everything,” said Ecklin, Jr. “There are corners with blind entries, a lot of undulation through the lap, some sections that run right along the walls, and some good fast sections as well. There is so much going on, and the car really is moving around a lot. You have to be light with your hands on the wheel to get the most out of it and is a fun place to drive!”
For Kidd, a promoter test day on board the Invisible Glass (www.invisibleglass.com) machine ahead of the race weekend was a good chance to get reacclimatized to the Aston Martin having not raced since the Daytona opener. As has been the case with most to pilot the car, he was pleased to be back.
“I like this place, it is a great track and I’ve practicing a lot on the simulator to be ready,” said Kidd. “I’m just excited to be back, to be racing with Rob (Ecklin, Jr), and to be back with the team. It is a lot of fun racing in this series and hopefully we can have a good weekend.”
With the series moving to a new tire supplier in Michelin for 2019 as well as the move to the all-new platform, the experience of Automatic Racing will be key as the team looks to learn how to extract all the performance on offer from the Aston Martin. Fortunately, the early returns have been encouraging.
“This is a track that you are spending a lot of time in the corners, and the way the team had the car set up to get off the apexs at Sebring, if we can do that again we should have a very solid car,” said Ecklin. “It It is just our third time out with the car so we’ve got a whole lot to learn but even in our first experiences with the car, I’ve been really encouraged with the new Aston Martin GT4. This car has more aero than we’ve had before, so that should be a big help and just adds to the fun!”
With a forecast that has precipitation as a leading factor ahead of the event, Kidd is hoping that the weather forecast gets an upgrade ahead of the race start on Saturday.
“I’ve ever raced in the rain, so I am hoping that it stays dry because I think we’ve got a good car for the dry,” said Kidd, who has raced at the track in both Global MX-5 Cup and IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge competition. “The team will be a big help if we are in that position and we will just adjust to whatever comes our way but if I could choose, I’d prefer dry!”
The Stoner Car Care (stonercarcare.com) Racing team will be back on track for a pair of practice sessions on Friday ahead of a busy Saturday, which will feature qualifying and race on a busy Saturday.
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. www.stonercarcare.com
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.