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Tuesday, 07 January 2020 17:30

Collision Work Pays the Bills, Racing Fills the Need for Space

Written by Donna Kessler, Times Herald-Record
Eagle Auto Body owner, Rob Albino’s racing career began by driving rental cars in road course races in parking lots in New Jersey. Eagle Auto Body owner, Rob Albino’s racing career began by driving rental cars in road course races in parking lots in New Jersey. Photo provided, Times Herald-Record

Index

While most of his days are filled with car parts, bondo and paint, Eagle Auto Body owner, Rob Albino’s other days are filled with him taking the turns on a racetrack.

Albino started racing in his early ‘20s, renting cars like Grand Am’s and Corolla’s from a rental car companies and competing in SCCA Autocross events across the northeast. It was here he learned how to compete in timed racing events. He did this for about 15 years in his own cars including a BMW 2002, Nissan Sentra SE-R & Chrysler Conquest Tsi, before finally committing to racing in road course events after Sept. 11. “It’s a very good way for young people to learn how to drive properly,” Albino said.

 

In 2002, Albino entered the Bondurant High Performance Driving School in Arizona. He took the four-day course and immediately received his racing license. It didn’t take Albino long to purchase his first race car, a BMW 318i which he sat behind the wheel of for a couple of years before realizing that it wasn’t very competitive. So, he found himself a 1991 Miata and came in third overall in his class. He had found his niche.

 

In 2001, he purchased a BMW 318i to compete in SCCA IT-B class events. Switching to a more competitive Miata and then entered the Historic Sportscar Series Racing with a Porsche 911 and came in second in his first race. Unfortunately, in the second race he ended up blowing the engine. Rebuilding that motor and competing a couple of more times in the 911 he switched to a Sunbeam Tiger in 2015 after blowing the motor in the Porsche a second time.

 

Albino continued to do road course racing over the years, competing at Daytona, Atlanta Motor Speedway, Virginia International Raceway, Sebring International Raceway, and Mont-Tremblant in Canada. He favors road course racing over the typical racing stating that road course racing can be scary sometimes since there are hills and valleys where you can’t see what’s coming up. It requires a lot of concentration.


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