Atlantic Field Strong for Thunderbolt
Sharon, CT – After a low-key start to the Atlantic Championship Series at Road Atlanta in May, the field has expanded to 17 cars in the second-ever event for the Formula Race Promotion series as the Atlantic grid heads for Thunderbolt this weekend. David Grant, in a Swift 014/Toyota for Polestar Racing Group, completed a clean sweep at Atlanta, with two wins - but will face much stiffer competition at New Jersey Motorsports Park.
Grant has never seen Thunderbolt, and said that he will need to limit over driving the car on a new race track.
Even though two rounds remain at Summit Point in August, Grant can mathematically clinch the inaugural Championship this weekend during rounds three and four, although it will take some luck.
His closest challenger at Atlanta, who had engine issues all weekend, is brother Keith Grant, who looks to bounce back in Southern New Jersey.
“I need to have my car run well all weekend,” said Keith, driving a similar Swift 014/Toyota. “I had problems all weekend in Atlanta, hopefully these will clear up.”
Third in points, behind the Grant family, is Bruce Hamilton in a Swift 016/Mazda for K-Hill Motorsports, part of a fleet of 016s from the team, also including Ted Zorbas and Andy Schaufelberger.
Making their first starts in 2012 are John Thompson, in a Swift 014/Toyota, and Chris Fahan, in a Swift 016/Mazda. Those two are joined by Paul LaCain, who dominated a recent SCCA National at Thunderbolt in his Ralt RT-41 Toyota.
“We’ve never gone to a race expecting not to win,” said LeCain. “How to accomplish that? Drive well, with few mistakes. Be consistent and fast over the distance and keep the car in shape. The biggest challenge will be the Grant brothers. I’ve never raced with them and they are fast. Overcoming their obvious speed will take a strong effort on our part.”
For Formula Race Promotions, it will be the first ever weekend with three Series in operation, with the group adding necessary staffing to meet the needs of some 75 entrants, with Atlantic joined by F2000 and F1600. Also on the schedule at New Jersey is ARCA and Trans-Am for what is expected to be a big spectator event.
Friday June 29 starts with Atlantic practice at 1:30 p.m. and 4:20 p.m. Saturday features a 9:00 a.m. qualifying session and race one weekend of the weekend at 2:20 p.m. Sunday concludes with a 8:30 a.m. qualifying session and 4:30 p.m. race. Live audio, updates and results will be available on www.atlanticchampionshipseries.com