Disappointment for Automatic Racing in Intercontinental GT Challenge

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Having Qualified an extremely close third on the grid for the start of Saturday's Intercontinental GT Challenge California 8 Hours of Laguna Seca, Florida based Automatic Racing and their V8 Vantage GT4 were looking to avenge the memory that was their last outing at the event last year which ended after just lap 3.

#The sveltely liveried #22 Stoner Car Care was started by team regular Charles Espenlaub, who although having dropped back to P6 in the initial laps soon recovered to run and contest for P2 in the GT4 class just behind the then class leading Ginetta and all was soon looking comfortable for the team with a car that looked extremely quick on the straights.

Disaster for the team was to strike however at the end of the first hour mark when the car suddenly slowed before stopping just before the infamous 'corkscrew' at the back of the circuit with the lack of fuel being cited as the cause. Loosing valuable time and laps to their class rivals, the corner workers were at least able to use the downward slope of the corkscrew to get the car back into pit lane under its own momentum but by the time that Charlie Pittman had got in, refuelled and left he was already three laps down.

"Pretty unbelievable and frustrating' was the quote from the cars third driver Eric Lux at the time.

Despite putting their heads down and piling in the laps the #22 car was later to receive a severe time sanction form Race Control for an 'unquantified' transgression that lost them a further seven and a half minutes whilst it was dealt with - basically destroying any remaining possibility of a decent finish in the process.

The final 'icing on the cake' came with just under an hour remaining when an electrical gremlin put the car out of the race and ended the team's somewhat mixed season on something of a downer.

Photo credits - SRO

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