MICHELIN Pilot Challenge's David Russell and Automatic Racing at the Classic Daytona presented by IMSA
Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Entries from around the world and as close as just an hour away from Daytona International Speedway (DIS) have arrived at the World Center of Racing for this weekend’s Historic Sportscar Racing (HSR) Classic Daytona presented by IMSA classic 24-hour race, November 7 - 11.

Longtime IMSA competitors, David Russell and his Automatic Racing team are based in nearby Orlando, Florida, only about an hour from Daytona Beach. Russell and his team have also been regular competitors in the Classic Daytona the last few years, and this weekend he once again pulls double duty as both a driver and team owner.

"I have a really colorful customer by the name of Steven Davison," Russell said. "He's Scottish-American, and he is running his Aston Martin Vantage GT4 with a young British driver named Finlay Hutchison, a nice young man and real quick kid. Finlay has won some GT4 stuff over there in an Aston Martin and a McLaren. We met him at the Le Mans Classic earlier this year when we did the one-make support race, which featured Aston Martin, and Steven hit it off with him. He invited him over, it will be his first time ever to the U.S., and he is going to be racing at Daytona."

Davison and Hutchison will co-drive the 2007 No. 22 Aston Martin Vantage GT4 while Russell, an accomplished driver in his own right, may join Davison at the wheel of one of the oldest cars in the race.

"Steven also has a 1962 Jaguar low-drag E-type," Russell said. "It's a beautiful car, and I will probably get the opportunity to drive that with him in the Classic Daytona. It's a Goodwood-approved, properly-done car and absolutely gorgeous. I was a little leery driving it the first few times I raced it. So, Steven will be racing in two different groups, doing double duty and getting plenty of track time."

The blue 1962 No. 2 Jaguar XKE raced last year at DIS in the Daytona Historics schedule that preceded the Classic Daytona, but this year Davison and Russell will take up the challenge of competing in the 56-year-old Jaguar in the full classic 24-hour race for the first time.

"The entire experience is very raw," Russell said. "It reminds of the first time I raced in the Rolex 24 in 1993. It takes me full circle because I grew up with a father who loved the D-Type Jaguars. He was at Sebring the year the D-Types won, so to get to race Steven's low-drag E Jaguar today is about as close as you can get to that thrill. It's an incredible experience for sure."

Russell's on-track duties at the Classic Daytona extend beyond his own Automatic Racing team. For the fourth-straight year he co-drives with Dick York in his silver 1973 No. 42 BMW CSL prepared by Heritage Motorsports.

"I will be back in Dick York's BMW that is an absolute blast to drive," Russell said. "Plenty of power but all manual, so it's a pretty physical car to drive, but really rewarding. It's really fun, and the preparation is very good, so it just keeps on running. I have run with Dick in the Classic Daytona every year, we won our class the first time, and hopefully we will have some more CSLs out there and we can have another good race like we have before."

Debuting in 2014, the HSR Classic Daytona presented by IMSA once again features this year period-specific groups of historic and vintage sports cars competing twice-around-the-clock on Daytona International Speedway's 3.56-mile road course. The classic 24-hour race is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. ET on Saturday, November 10.

Spectator tickets for the HSR Classic Daytona can be purchased at HSR Registration at DIS Gate 40, off Williamson Blvd., beginning Thursday, November 8. Sales go from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. and straight through the day and night until 11 a.m. on Sunday.

A variety of single day, two-day and three and four-day weekend passes are available for purchase.