Burkett Continues Atlantic Winning Streak at Watkins Glen
Watkins Glen, NY – Daniel Burkett, the young Canadian K-Hill Motorsports driver, claimed his fourth straight Atlantic Championship Series win on Sunday at Watkins Glen. He was able to keep his perfect finish record, but was not able to grab a fourth straight pole position, starting second behind Comprent Motor Sports’ Jimmy Simpson.
Due to some mechanical issues, 20 of the 22 Atlantic cars at The Glen took the Green Flag for Sunday’s race. The morning qualifying session was truncated due to a blown engine that dumped oil on the track. Simpson and Burkett swapped the pole position and the track record multiple times during the qualifying session. Simpson ended up setting a new qualifying track record by laying down a 1:40.866.
This weekend was Burkett’s first time at Watkins Glen International. “Coming in here I knew it would be more difficult than Road Atlanta, we would have to be on our game. We knew Jimmy would be fast here with his past experience”, explained Burkett.
Burkett started the race next to Simpson and said he “was okay with starting second, not every weekend will be perfect”. However, with his strong finish, it turned out to be a near perfect weekend for Burkett and his K-Hill team.
Simpson was able to hold the lead for a few corners, but was overtaken by Burkett on the inner loop of the track. Simpson held tight onto his draft behind the three-time race winner, attempting to prevent him from getting a run on the field. Simpson ended the race taking the second step on the podium and claiming another race track record, setting a race record of 1:40.634.
“We went about the setup differently here, looking for straight speed instead of corner speed, it was a little bit hairy to hang the thing out. I was more than content to get second instead of stuffing it into a wall trying to get first”, said Simpson, after thanking his team and the hard work they put in replacing his motor.
Ethan Ringel, driver for COMPREP, had another podium finish this weekend, this time taking third. There was a full course caution during the race that allowed Ringel to get close to Polestar’s Keith Grant, whom he had fallen behind in the opening laps of the race. Ringel said that the “restart kept me on my toes with Grant”.
Grant ended up having an issue towards the end of the race and dropped back into the field finishing ninth overall.
K-Hill Motorsports’ father-son duo, rounded out the top five of the fourth race of a ten race season for the Atlantic Championship Series. Gaston, finished in front of his son Conner, who had used the restart to catch up to his father after starting ninth.
Sedat Yelkin, who made his first appearance with the Atlantic Championship Series at Watkins Glen, finished sixth, followed by Tyler Hunter, Richard Zober, Keith Grant, and Bruce Hamilton.
The Atlantic Championship Series continues June 6-8 at Virginia International Raceway for rounds five and six of the ten, five-weekend race season. For results, standings, and further information on the Atlantic Championship Series visit www.AtlanticChampionshipSeries.com.
PosNo.NameLapsBest TmMake/ModelDiff 1 4 Daniel Burkett 15 1:40.712 Swift 016 Mazda - 2 21 Jimmy Simpson 15 1:40.634 Swift 016 Mazda +3.556 3 49 Ethan Ringel 15 1:42.751 Swift 016A Mazda +23.778 4 56 Conner Kearby 15 1:42.966 Swift 016 Mazda +27.639 5 69 Gaston Kearby 15 1:43.934 Swift 016 Mazda +35.245 6 75 Sedat Yelkin 15 1:44.810 Swift 008 014 +47.702 7 22 Tyler Hunter 15 1:44.485 Swift 014 +50.961 8 66 Richard Zober 15 1:44.871 Swift 016 Mazda +51.588 9 40 Keith Grant 15 1:43.355 Swift 016 Mazda +53.159 10 06 Bruce Hamilton 15 1:45.066 Swift 014 +1:01.800 11 39 Chris Fahan 15 1:45.241 Swift 016 Mazda +1:02.890 12 11 Dwight Rider 15 1:45.644 Ralt Rt-41 +1:14.447 13 70 Lewis Cooper, Jr. 15 1:46.507 Swift 014 A +1:26.393 14 34 Andy Schaufelberger 15 1:48.473 Swift Mazda +1:37.361 15 09 J.R. Smart 14 1:53.627 Swift 014A 1 Lap 16 2 Mark Felsen 14 1:55.768 Swift 014 +30.696 17 74 Brian Pickering 8 1:54.623 Ralt Rt-41 7 Laps 18 3 Mark Sherwood 8 1:54.379 Ralt Rt-41 +0.161 DNF 71 Michael Mallinen 5 1:49.791 Swift 016.A Mazda 10 Laps DNF 82 Matt Miller 1 1:51.466 Swift 016.A Mazda 14 Laps DNS 5 Bruce Crockett 0 -.--- Swift 014 -