Automatic Racing Returns to a Two-Car Aston Martin Vantage GT4 Team for IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge

Automatic Racing Returns to a Two-Car Aston Martin Vantage GT4 Team for IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge

11.01.2023: IMPC Four-Hour Season-Opening Race at Daytona International Speedway Jim Jonsin, Tom Long and Brett Sandberg Co-Drive No. 9 ďNo LimitsĒ Aston Martin Vantage GT4 Alongside Automatic Racing Regulars Rob Ecklin and Ramin Abdolvahabi in No. 09 Stone


IMPC Four-Hour Season-Opening Race at Daytona International Speedway




Jim Jonsin, Tom Long and Brett Sandberg Co-Drive No. 9 “No Limits” Aston Martin Vantage GT4 Alongside Automatic Racing Regulars Rob Ecklin and Ramin Abdolvahabi in No. 09 Stoner Car Care Aston Martin Vantage GT4
 



Automatic Racing returns to a two-car team for this month’s season-opening IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge four-hour race at Daytona International Speedway (DIS) where the trio of Jim Jonsin, Tom Long and Brett Sandberg will co-drive the No. 9 “No Limits” Aston Martin Vantage GT4 alongside Automatic Racing’s longtime lineup of Rob Ecklin and Ramin Abdolvahabi in the No. 09 Stoner Car Care Aston Martin Vantage GT4.




“We are super happy to have Jim Jonsin with Rebel Rock join us for the Daytona opener,” said Automatic Racing Team Owner David Russell said. “Jim and I have been talking about putting something together and I have always had a lot of respect for what he’s been able to do in the past. He’s a super entrepreneur and understands how to properly assemble business-to-business platforms in the motorsports paddock.”



The No. 9 Aston Martin will be the on-track centerpiece of a soon-to-be-announced promotion for a Jonsin-produced upcoming album on the Rebel Rock/EMPIRE label. Jonsin is an accomplished and Grammy Award winning record producer, songwriter, DJ and music industry businessman who added motorsports a decade ago to his successful Rebel Rock lineup of enterprises that includes Rebel Rock Entertainment and Rebel Rock Productions.



“I have to say, I’m more than excited to be back racing with my friends at IMSA," Jonsin said. "I love being at the races and spending time watching as a fan, but to be able to get behind the wheel again with seasoned drivers such as my friends Brett Sandberg and Tom Long, I couldn’t think of a better way to get back into racing. Not to mention my favorite event is the Rolex 24 weekend, at my favorite track, Daytona International Speedway. I am thankful for the opportunity to race an Aston Martin GT4 in the Pilot Challenge, prepared by Automatic Racing and David Russell.


Racing and music have always been huge passions of mine and I am looking forward to both driving and sharing some news about our latest Rebel Rock release at Daytona that brings these two passions together. I already have to give big thanks to my friends and sponsors at zMax, Podium 1, EMPIRE and Rebel Rock Productions in addition to some other great groups and people we will acknowledge and recognize at next week's press conference at Daytona."




Russell is a long-time IMSA, GRAND-AM and international sports car racing competitor as both a team owner and driver. Under his leadership, Automatic won what was then the GRAND-AM Grand Sports (GS) class championship in 2007 and finished third in GS in 2008. Long and Sandberg have been among Russell's drivers over the years and, along with Ecklin and Abdolvahabi, return to a familiar team at Daytona.
 


“We are equally excited to have my good friends Tom Long and Brett Sandberg join Jim as co-drivers and coaches,” Russell said. “It is also fantastic to have Rob and Ramin back this year between Michelin Pilot Challenge and the new VP Racing SportsCar Challenge series. I am fortunate enough to have Rob drive with us for 12 years now and Ramin for seven years. Let’s go!”



Long raced early in his career with Automatic racing and scored a Michelin Pilot Challenge class victory at Daytona in 2018 in addition to co-driving to a third-place GT finish in the 2011 Rolex 24 At Daytona.



“I’m honored to be back with Automatic Racing and Jim Jonsin in the No Limits Aston Martin Vantage,” Long said. “I’m fortunate to have a long-standing history with David Russell and Automatic Racing, as they were my first full-time professional ride in the series.



I’ve shared the track with Jim and Brett over the last 10 years, and it’s a great fit. All the pieces of the puzzle have their own unique story and history to me, and now we’re putting them all together to complete a very exciting partnership. I have to give a special thanks to David and Jim for allowing me to be a part of this opportunity.”



Sandberg returns to Automatic Racing after last racing with the team nearly a decade ago.


“I am really looking forward to coming back to Automatic Racing,” Sandberg said. “It has been a long time since I was last in a car with them. We’ve always had good experiences together, and I have nothing but great things to say about the team and Dave Russell’s program that he has been running for the last few decades.


I’m thrilled to be back in the car with Jim, and I am eager for the program to get underway. Looking forward to these upcoming weekends at Daytona!”




Pilot Challenge teams and Drivers will be on track for five practice sessions during the Roar Before the Rolex 24 At Daytona test session weekend, January 20 – 22. They will be back on track on Wednesday, January 25, for the start of the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona.


The four-hour Michelin Pilot Endurance Challenge opener is scheduled to start at 1:45 p.m. EST on Friday, January 27th.
 



David Russell - photos Automatic Racing
 

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11.01.2023 / MaP

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