Fresh From Florida Racing

Automatic Racing Team

The “Fresh from Florida” car, a BMW M3, is handled by the Orlando-based Automatic Racing team, which joined the KONI Challenge Series in 2002 and had eight top-10 finishes in 2006. Jep Thornton is team owner and driver. The “Fresh from Florida” car is driven by Automatic Racing’s Tom Long and David Russell.

Tom Long began his sports car career in 2001 and joined Automatic Racing last year. He earned two Pro Miata Cup Championships (North American and Atlantic) in 2005. The 2006 season marked Long’s debut in the Grand Am Cup earning two top-10 finishes in seven starts.

David Russell started racing in 1984. His first professional race was the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1989. In 2005, Russell earned a best finish of fourth at Daytona. In 2006 he earned five top-10 finishes in eight Grand Sport starts with a high finish of third. Russell works at the BMW Performance Center in Spartanburg, S.C., and instructs at the Skip Barber Racing School. He joined Automatic Racing in 2002.

For more information about Automatic Racing, visit

Grand Am Road Racing

The Grand American Road Racing Association, located in Daytona Beach, was established in 1999 and is world’s fastest-growing motorsports organizations. The Grand-Am KONI Challenge Racing Series, in which the “Fresh from Florida” car will race in 2007, is one of the fastest growing of all motorsports, posting huge gains in race attendance, television ratings and household viewers.

For more information about Grand Am Road Racing, visit

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