With significant test and race time at VIR this season, the team aims for a top finish in Sunday’s two-hour race
ORLANDO, Fla. (4 October 2021) – Rob Ecklin Jr. and Ramin Abdolvahabi are back in action with the Stoner Car Care Racing fielded by Automatic Racing team this weekend, ready to take on the penultimate race of the 2021 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge (IMPC) season, the Virginia is for Racing Lovers Grand Prix (NBC Sports Gold’s TRACKPASS, Sunday 2:00 p.m. Eastern).
Ecklin and Abdolvahabi take the wheel of the No. 09 Stoner Car Care Aston Martin Vantage GT4 with a significant amount of recent track time at VIRginia International Raceway under their belts. The duo and the Stoner Car Care team completed a successful two-day test at VIR last May and contested their fifth World Racing League event of the season on the 3.27-mile, 17-turn road course two weeks ago as they aim to end the IMSA season on a high note.
Abdolvahabi, a neurosurgeon in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. and Ecklin, the CEO of Lancaster, Pa.-based Stoner Car Care, have split their time between the WRL and IMSA as their professional commitments have factored into their 2021 racing schedules. They have not competed on an IMPC weekend since June, but hope that their frequent familiarity with VIR this season helps them bring home a season-high finish.
“We did a test day back in May and that was very productive for both Ramin and I, as we each set personal best times,” said Ecklin. “So to go back there a few weeks ago with the WRL and get plenty of track time puts us in a good position for this weekend.”
“Rob and Ramin did close to 100 laps each two weeks ago so they should be in good shape this weekend,” said Automatic Racing team manager David Russell. “We had the two-day test back in May but they hadn’t raced at VIR since 2019. It’s great to have them back this weekend, we know them and their driving styles so well. It’s important to have that continuity and chemistry. They know each other so well but they communicate differently about the car and it’s a good balance, to hear two different perspectives.
“The track time they’ve gotten this year with the WRL adds to their confidence – with 80 cars on track, you seldom get a clean lap so you have to figure out how to deal with that,” continued Russell. “They know what they need to do and where they need to place the car to get the lap time, so the process is easier. And this is one of our favorite tracks, it’s so well managed and user friendly in so many ways. It has everything as a track: different terrain, low and high-speed, long duration sweepers, style corners – and all of that in combination, so it’s super demanding and technical.”
As the team turns its focus to the final two IMPC races of the season, Ecklin appreciates both the racing and the business opportunities available at the IMSA weekends.
“As drivers, obviously the racing is our primary focus, and IMSA delivers such a good product week in and week out,” said Ecklin. “But from a marketing standpoint, we’re also here to get brand exposure (both for Stoner Car Care and Invisible Glass) and IMSA does a great job in that regard, both on and off the racetrack. Getting the fans back was so important, both for marketing and of course for the atmosphere on the weekends. We’re happy that they’re back!”
Part of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s Michelin GT Challenge at VIR, the VIRginia is for Racing Lovers Grand Prix takes the green flag Sunday at 2:10 p.m. Eastern. The race will be broadcast live in the U.S. on NBC Sports Gold’s TrackPass, while international viewers can watch via IMSA.tv. IMSA Radio will also be available at IMSA.com. NBCSN will broadcast a two-hour race recap, currently scheduled to air Thursday, October 14 at 3:00 p.m. Eastern (check local listings).
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.
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.