Atlantic Championship Series Returns This Weekend

April 8, 2014
Atlantics are back

Salem, NH - The Atlantic Championship Series, organized by Formula Race Promotions, made its premier in 2012 at Road Atlanta. The series has been revived for 2014, and will start once again at Road Atlanta this weekend, running with the F2000 Championship Series and the F1600 Formula F Championship Series.  

The 2014 season has expanded from the previous three double-header weekends to five double race weekends, with a total of 10 races for the year.

The season opener will mark the return of many drivers and teams from the 2012 season, along with a fair amount of drivers new to this series. The buzz around the return of the Atlantic Championship Series, presented by Hoosier Racing Tire, has generated momentum and larger fields are expected this year.

Series organizers are expecting a field of more than 15 Atlantic cars at Road Atlanta, with a variety of chassis and engines.  Swift chassis seem to the most popular for the upcoming season, however, there is a fairly equal split between Mazda-powered 016 and the Toyota-powered 014. Many of the teams will be running multi-car efforts, including K-Hill Motorsports, Swan Racing, Polestar Racing Group and new entrant Comprent Motorsports. A spec Honda engine is expected to make its debut later in the year.

The majority of the drivers that are expected to race this weekend recently competed in the SCCA Majors race that took place at Road Atlanta a few weeks ago. Having recently driven this 12-turn, two and a half mile long course, should play into car setup for the season debut.

Eyes will be on the returning drivers and larger teams at Road Atlanta. One driver to watch is Keith Grant, who finished second in the 2012 season behind his brother, David Grant, who made the switch to F2000. Grant had two podium finishes at Road Atlanta and continued to podium throughout the 2012 season.

The drivers who are knew to the series will provide some competition for the returning drivers. The new drivers may be new to the Atlantic Championship Series, but they are not new to racing these cars.

Ethan Ringel, a younger driver from Florida, has raced his Formula Atlantic at the SCCA Run-Offs, and has experience with Road Atlanta, which he has raced on before in a F2000 car. Ringel is passionate about Formula Atlantics, which he compares to being similar to GP3. “They are so much fun to drive. There is an insane amount of down force on them and they are 100 percent carbon. It is my favorite car to ever drive,” Ringel explained.

Other entry list highlights include multiple-time SCCA National Champion Michael Mallinen, in a Swan-prepped car, and Lew Cooper Jr, in a Swift 014. And there is more: including younger drivers in addition to Ringel, Jimmy Simpson for Comprent Motor Sports and a late entrant from K-Hill for Daniel Burkett, moving up from another F2000 series.

Atlantic teams start their assault on Road Atlanta with a Thursday test day.

The opening weekend starts with official practice starting on Friday April 11h, with each series getting two practice sessions. Qualifying for race one starts at 10:55am and race 1 starting at 5:15pm on Saturday April 12. Sunday follows with a 9:10am qualifying session and 4:00pm race start. All times listed are eastern, local and subject to change. Living timing is available on Race Monitor and, along with news photos and results.

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