Andres Sweeps NJMP Weekend
Millville, NJ – With an outside move in turn one, Keyvan Andres passed Garth Rickards for the lead on lap 27 in round 12 of the 2015 Atlantic Championship Series to take the victory and sweep the weekend at New Jersey Motorsports Park. Andres lost the lead on the start to Rickards, battling his teammate for most of the race before he made the pass work. Conner Kearby finished third to make it a three-car K-Hill Motorsports podium.
“I was hunting him down. I wasn’t going to let go until the very last lap,” said Andres, who takes his fifth victory of the season in the No. 47 Swift 016/Mazda. Andres stayed with Rickards as the two battled, with Andres trying again and again the outside move in turn one. Lapped cars came into the mix, and both drivers dropped wheels off the track onto the dirt in a heated fight before Andres swept around the outside in turn one.
Rickards would finish second by 1.3 seconds.
“That was the game plan, to get to the front,” said Rickards, in the No. 83 Swift 016/Mazda, who drove and won in the F1600 Series in 2014. “We got the job done but used up the car too much in the beginning. If I could give my car a review it would be five stars out of five. I’m looking forward to Pittsburgh, we have to win one.”
C. Kearby endured a near race-long battle with points leader Keith Grant, defending multiple pass attempts from the No. 40.
“It was really greasy out there and the tires started to come off pretty early, the track is pretty abrasive. Anything beats what happens yesterday,” said Kearby, who bounces back after failing to finish after a lap one incident in Saturday's race.
Grant finished fourth in a solid points day for Polestar Racing Group. The Tennessee-native has the title all but assured heading into Pittsburgh in just over six weeks with a large lead on Kearby.
Winning the Atlantic Challenge category in fifth overall was Gaston Kearby in the No. 69 K-Hill entry. G. Kearby spent the beginning part of the race locked in a tight battle with teammate Bruce Hamilton, but found a way by the No. 36 on lap 11, pulling a gap to seal his second Atlantic Challenge win in two days. Hamilton would finish sixth trailed by Comprent’s Chris Ash in seventh.
There were other good battles throughout the field, as Andy Schaufelberger was engaged with Lee Brahin and Bob Corliss for the majority of the race. Corliss would get by in his Comprent Swift 014/Toyota, but failed to finish with a mechanical issue.
Rich Zober pitted after a lap in his No. 66 Comprent Swift 016/Mazda without his front wing, retiring from the race. Zober had finished fourth in Saturday's race, round 11 of the season, and backed that up with a fifth place qualifying effort on Sunday morning.
John Burke, who drives the No. 55 Swift 014/Toyota for Company Motorsports, did not start the race.
Full results are available on www.AtlanticChampionshipSeries.com under the Results tab.
With 12 rounds in the books, the Atlantic Championship Series finishes its season at Pittsburgh International Race Complex, October 16-18.