Stoner Car Care AMR skip Lime Rock for Road Atlanta

Thursday, July 15, 2021

The Stoner Car Care Racing fielded by Automatic Racing team returns to the World Racing League (WRL) this weekend, competing in the series’ endurance double header at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

The WRL’s 20 hours of track time – including four hours of combined practice and qualifying, a nine-hour race on Saturday and a seven-hour race on Sunday – will act as the perfect preparation for November’s IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge season finale, part of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s venerable Petit Le Mans.

Nearly 70 cars in four classes will take the green flag, with the Stoner Car Care team competing in its No. 909 Aston Martin Vantage GT4 in the GTO class. Rob Ecklin Jr., Ramin Abdolvahabi and Steven Davison will share the driving duties, looking for their second win of the WRL season, having won the second of two endurance races at Road America earlier this season.

Remarkably, Ecklin raced in his first event at Road Atlanta just last year, as his business schedule had prevented him from competing in earlier seasons. He looks forward to both the sheer amount of seat time this weekend, as well as the level of competition – but that competition level comes with one small asterisk.

“I just loved racing at Road Atlanta last year,” said Ecklin. “It was everything I expected, and I feel as though I got up to speed quickly. I’m looking forward to getting back there; I love all the track time. It sounds like a lot, but between three drivers, it works well. It’s great back-and-forth, between IMSA and the WRL, between sprint races and endurance races. It continues to help us build race craft. The WRL is solid racing, but unlike IMPC, there’s no contact allowed. I got a nice wallop last weekend at Watkins Glen, but that’s a no-no in the WRL. Keep it clean on track, we have a good driver lineup, a good car and a good crew, so we’ll be competitive.”

Automatic Racing team manager David Russell appreciates the amount of track time this weekend not just for the racing itself, but for the opportunity to try different Aston Martin setups ahead of the final few IMSA races left on on the calendar.

“This is good prep for the IMSA season finale,” said Russell. “It’s about getting reps and building confidence, figuring out where to drive the car and where to push. We love Road Atlanta, it’s so unique, so this is a good test session, especially for Rob and Ramin, who will be here in November.

“Half of our team is from the area, including our engineer Kirt Wightman, so it’s almost like a home race. In theory, it will be a simple, straight-forward weekend. We’re still learning what’s required to make the Aston Martin fire on all cylinders from every angle, but we’ve proven that we have a pretty good weapon. It’s reliable and durable, and that’s key in these endurance races. It will be a fun weekend.”

The #191 car joins the Prosport Competition AMR Vantage GT4 of Dwayne Moses, Jason Rabe, Zach Arnold and Nate Stacey aboard their #143 car.

The first of two endurance races takes the green flag Saturday at 8:00 a.m. Eastern. Catch all the action this weekend at the series YouTube page, with live timing and scoring at!

Source material - Stoner Car Care

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