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Intercontinental GT Challenge

Automatic Racing Confirms California 8H Return

Automatic Racing confirms Aston Martin Vantage GT4 entry for California 8 Hours…

Photo: Jake Galstad/IMSA

Automatic Racing will again take part in the California 8 Hours, bringing its No. 99 Aston Martin Vantage GT4 and an All-American driver lineup to WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

Charlie Putman and Charles Espenlaub will be joined by Eric Lux at the wheel of the GT4 class contender in the fourth and final round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge season.

It is an unchanged lineup from the team’s effort last year, which came to an early end after an accident on the third lap.

“We have a really good driver lineup and, in the Aston Martin, the best of all the GT4 cars, I believe,” said team owner David Russell said.

“Laguna Seca really fits the Aston Martin well, and the track is a favorite of myself and of the team. We’re coming back with exactly what we had there last year – the same car, the same team and the same program.”

Putman and Espenlaub, who were part of a class-winning team in this year’s Nürburgring 24, currently lead the 24H Series championship on the heels of three consecutive victories. 

“I’m looking forward to getting back with my friends at Automatic Racing and seeing a lot of people in America since I’ve been in Europe the entire year,” Putman said. “For me it’s going to be a social experience but it’s going to be a serious experience on the track.”

Lux came out of a hiatus from racing to join the team at last year’s event but has since made a start in IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge competition in the Aston Martin GT4 earlier this year.

“I can’t wait to return to Laguna Seca with Automatic Racing, Aston Martin, and teammates Charles Espenlaub and Charlie Putman,“ Lux said.

“Laguna Seca is one of my favorite circuits in North America. Charles and Charlie have had a stellar season in Europe and we are all very hungry to close this season out with a win for David Russell and the rest of the Automatic Racing team.

“We came so close to a win at Watkins Glen earlier this year during the IMSA race, and last year at Laguna Seca we did not have a chance to show the car’s potential. We certainly have the team, car and lineup to be a front-running team!”

The race is set for Oct. 26-28.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John


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