Akhil Rabindra and Ross Gunn Deliver Sixth Place Finish for Stoner Car Care at VIR

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

In a race that saw tricky conditions and multiple caution periods, young drivers Akhil Rabindra and Ross Gunn raced to a sixth-place finish at Virginia International Raceway (VIR) for Stoner Car Care on Saturday in the Automatic Racing-prepared No. 09 Stoner Car Care Aston Martin GT4. The results marks the team’s best finish of the year as the squad continues to learn more each time out with the all-new Aston Martin Vantage GT4 platform. 

The sister No. 97 Invisible Glass Aston Martin Vantage GT4 of Ramin Abdolvahabi and Tom Long finished 18th. 

In what seems to be a common theme during the 2019 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge season, the Virginia is for Racing Lovers Grand Prix event at VIR once again saw rain play a big part of the weekend.

After final practice and qualifying was cancelled on Friday due to thunderstorms in the area, Saturday’s starting grid was set based on car championship points. That meant that the Automatic Racing-prepared No. 97 Invisible Glass Aston Martin Vantage GT4 of Abdolvahabi and Long would line up 14th while the No. 09 Stoner Car Care Aston Martin GT4 of Rabrindra and Gunn would start 21st.

The lack of a final practice and qualifying session on Friday was unfortunate for the Automatic Racing-prepared Stoner Car Care machine after a fuel cell issue was discovered following the first practice. Unfortunately the No. 09 Aston Martin was forced to miss the second practice session of the day as well.

“It was slightly difficult since I only managed to get a handful of laps in yesterday but I felt very good in the car,” said Gunn. “I’ve had a lot of experience in this car so that really helps in terms of the learning process with the circuit. I felt comfortable from the word go and it went pretty well. Our pace was tremendous. It was very tricky. I wasn’t expecting the race to restart (on the final lap) honestly. But it was a crazy lap. People were spinning left, right and center and we picked up a few more positions which was good.”

Long took 18th at the finish line.

“We had great pace all weekend long and we really had a great car,” said Long. “Unfortunately with the weather and the way the yellows fell, the strategy just didn’t work out for us today. We were encouraged by the pace of the Aston Martin this weekend, unfortunately the racing luck just wasn’t on our side today.”

NBCSN will broadcast a two-hour race recap of the Virginia is for Racing Lovers Grand Prix on Friday, August 30 at 10:00 PM ET. Next up for the Stoner Car Care Racing team will be the two-hour IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race at Laguna Seca located in Monterey, California which will air LIVE on IMSA.tv September 14 at 5:55 PM ET.