Stoner Car Care AMR Vantage GT4 crew looking forward to quick fire return to racing from Mid-Ohio

Monday, May 09, 2022

The Stoner Car Care Racing fielded by Automatic Racing team heads to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for the Mid-Ohio 120, race four of the 2022 Michelin Pilot Challenge season.

Rob Ecklin, Jr. (Lancaster, Pa.) and Ramin Abdolvahabi (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) are back behind the wheel of the No. 09 Stoner Car Care Aston Martin Vantage GT4. The pair looks to rebound from a difficult weekend at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca two weeks ago.

It has been an intense schedule of events for the team through the last three weekends, with races in California, Wisconsin, and now Ohio. Abdolvahabi joined Automatic Racing’s World Racing League team last weekend to capture a win in the eight-hour race at Road America.

Both drivers hope to secure their first Bronze Cup victory this weekend. The series added the Bronze Cup this season in the Grand Sport class, recognizing the top FIA Bronze-rated drivers in the series. Neither driver has been to Mid-Ohio since the 2019 season, and both recognize the particular challenges that the tricky track presents.

“Weather is often an issue at Mid-Ohio and when it rains, it’s a completely different racetrack,” said Ecklin. “I have been re-familiarizing myself with the layout on iRacing (note: iRacing recently added both Stoner Car Care liveries to their GT4 lineup – the No. 09 Stoner colors and the iconic No. 99 Invisible Glass version). I know the corners I need to work on, I remember that much from 2019 – and now that I can run the No. 09 Stoner Car Care car on iRacing, that’s the next best thing to being there.”

Ecklin was not able to race with the team in the World Racing League event at Road America last weekend but acknowledges that while two events in three weekends can be difficult from a business perspective, it can be very helpful to a race car driver.

“It’s great to have events this close together,” said Ecklin. “It keeps you in rhythm. For me, the more I can be in a car, the better. I don’t have time outside of race weekends to do anything but sim racing, and even that is time challenged. So getting into this kind of rhythm is very helpful, to be able to just hit the ground running at a track as tricky as Mid-Ohio. When you’re at work, you’re at work, but when you hit the front gates at the racetrack, you’re back in racer mode. It’s all about focus and compartmentalization.”

For Automatic Racing team manager David Russell, the past four weeks have been quite the logistical challenge.

“We brought a small trailer to Road America straight from Florida, with the regular transporter going straight there from WeatherTech Raceway – it’s basically on the way,” said Russell. “We had the wheel issue but no other problems so prep for the 09 Aston Martin has been pretty straightforward. We’re hoping for good weather next weekend, though I feel that you can always bank on a storm at some point during a race weekend at Mid-Ohio. I love Mid-Ohio - the track has great flow and we’ve had some good runs there. We’re into a good run of natural road courses here, tracks that suit the Aston Martin, so we’re looking for a good result.”

Source material – Stoner Car Care

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