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Aston Martin Factory Driver Gunn Joins Automatic for VIR

FIA WEC driver Ross Gunn to make Pilot Challenge debut in Automatic Racing Vantage GT4…

Photo: Nick Dungan/AMR

Aston Martin factory GT driver Ross Gunn has been added to Automatic Racing’s lineup for Saturday’s IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge round at Virginia International Raceway.

Gunn will co-drive the No. 9 Stoner Car Care/Invisible Glass Aston Martin Vantage GT4 with Akhil Rabindra in the two-hour race.

The 22-year-old Brit’s IMSA debut comes just a week before the first race of his maiden full-time FIA World Endurance Championship drive with Aston’s works GTE-Am squad.

Rabindra made his first appearance in the No. 09 Automatic Racing machine last time out at Road America, qualifying third and taking the lead during the opening stint.

The Indian driver is one of 23 candidates vying for a place on Aston Martin’s factory junior driver program for 2020, while Gunn was a graduate of a similar program in 2015.

“I have a fair bit of experience in the car and hopefully can put that to good use for the team to get a good result,” said Gunn, who was the first driver to shake down the new Vantage GT4.

“[VIR] seems like a track that doesn’t leave a lot of room for error. I really like that kind of challenge when a track isn’t too forgiving, it changes your mindset a bit.

“There are sections where the car is going back and forth at a good speed, going up and down hills, so there is a lot going on and I’m rather looking forward to getting out there.”

Aston Martin Racing managing director John Gaw added: “Automatic Racing had a very encouraging race with the Vantage GT4 at Road America with Akhil getting the car into the lead before the rain.

“Hopefully the team can continue to build on that progress again this weekend. We are delighted that Ross was available to make his IMSA debut and I suspect that he will be very pleased to race the Vantage on a track like VIR.”

Automatic has two Vantage GT4s entered into this weekend’s race, with Tom Long and Ramin Abdolvahabi slated to drive the No. 97 machine.

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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