Posted (11/18/2009) -
ORLANDO, Fla.-Automatic Racing is joining forces with RSR to race a pair of Mini Coopers in the Street Tuner (ST) class during the 2010 Grand-Am KONI Challenge season.
Following eight years of success in the Grand Sport class of KONI Challenge, this marks the first time that Automatic Racing has entered the ST arena. The team will continue to campaign their two BMW M3s in the Grand Sport class, as well.
In the new partnership between Automatic Racing and RSR, Automatic's veteran crew will handle the management and preparation of the Minis. "We've wanted to do an ST program for a long time, but the timing and circumstances haven't been right until now," says Automatic Racing's David Russell. "Mini is a part of the BMW family, and we expect these cars to be competitive: this is a championship effort."
RSR team owner Randall Smalley agrees, noting that in the team's four years of competition, RSR has already built a successful program. In 2009, RSR earned two poles en route to nine top-ten finishes. RSR's longtime sponsors Four Winds International and Cruise America will return in 2010.
Collaborating with Automatic-the 2007 Grand Sport champion-was a natural choice. "Automatic Racing's experience speaks for itself, and of course there's synergy between BMW and Mini," says Smalley. "Dependability will be key. We have the speed already, and this opportunity with Automatic will give us the reliability we need to be a championship contender."
Smalley and Owen Trinkler will share driving duties in one of the RSR Minis, and additional drivers will be announced soon for the second Mini and for Automatic Racing's two M3s.
Automatic Racing is already preparing the RSR Minis at their shop in Orlando, Florida, and testing will begin soon. The Automatic Racing BMW M3s and the RSR Mini Coopers will be racing in just two months during the KONI Challenge season opener at Daytona International Speedway on January 29th.