Burkett Dominates Opening Atlantic Championship Series Weekend
Braselton, GA – The second and final race of the 2014 inaugural weekend for the Atlantic Championship Series at Road Atlanta completed with Canadian Daniel Burkett, driving a K-Hill Motorsports’ Atlantic Car, turning his second pole position into a second win in dominating fashion. Next to him on the podium was K-Hill teammate Conner Kearby, who finished second, and Polestar’s Keith Grant in third.
After two consecutive pole positions, qualifying lap records, and wins, Burkett said: "That was spectacular today, to win by 20 seconds, the car has to be perfect, and K-Hill gave me a perfect car."
Burkett backed up his Saturday performance with a huge gap to win on Sunday, following a track record 1:16-flat lap around Road Atlanta to take pole on Sunday morning in his Swift 016/Mazda.
"I hope that record stands for a while," he added.
Multiple battles for positions among the field were seen during race two. Conner Kearby worked his way up from his fourth place qualifying position to second very quickly during the opening laps. From there he battled throughout the race with Grant and Ringel.
Kearby had an intense race and before taking his spot on the podium steps described his experience: "I got a great start and a good draft to get into second. After that it was about consistently and Keith (Grant) was in my mirrors the entire way."
Kearby pulled away and Jimmy Simpson, in an Atlantic Creations car, joined the ongoing battle between Grant and Ringel for third place, running nose to tail. Towards the end of the race, Grant pulled away from the other two and tightened the gap between himself and Kearby to contest second place.
Grant, in a Swift 016/Mazda, made his second appearance on the Atlantic Championship Series podium in two days, taking the third step, as he did on Saturday’s race.
"I had a good race running with Conner (Kearby). He got past me early but I was able to stay with him and challenged him a few times. It was a good clean race there with him and also Jimmy Simpson”, explained Grant.
Ethan Ringel of COMPREP, who was unable to finish Saturday’s race, kept a tight pace and consistently set faster laps throughout the race, finishing in fourth. Ringel was the only car besides Burkett lapping in the 1:17 range at Road Atlanta.
Simpson, who was on the podium on Saturday with a second place effort for Atlantic Creations, settled into fifth place.
Rounding out the top ten of the Atlantic field was Matt Miller, Gaston Kearby, Michael Mallinen, Bruce Hamilton, and Tyler Hunter.
Full results are available under the Results tab on AtlanticChampionshipSeries.com.
The Atlantic Championship Series continues with rounds three and four (of 10) at Watkins Glen in May, running with the F2000 Championship Series and the F1600 F Championship Series.
PosNo.NameLapsBest TmMake/ModelDiff 1 4 Daniel Burkett 20 1:17.350 Swift 016 Mazda - 2 56 Conner Kearby 20 1:18.276 Swift 016 Mazda +20.591 3 40 Keith Grant 20 1:18.248 Swift 016 Mazda +21.224 4 49 Ethan Ringel 20 1:17.818 Swift 016A Mazda +21.763 5 21 Jimmy Simpson 20 1:18.283 Swift 016 Mazda +26.430 6 82 Matt Miller 20 1:19.694 Swift 016.A Mazda +47.525 7 69 Gaston Kearby 20 1:19.748 Swift 016 Mazda +48.536 8 71 Michael Mallinen 20 1:19.885 Swift 016.A Mazda +1:02.453 9 06 Bruce Hamilton 20 1:19.357 Swift 014 +1:06.881 10 22 Tyler Hunter 20 1:20.689 Swift 014 +1:15.122 11 5 Bruce Crockett 19 1:21.128 Swift 014 1 Lap 12 11 Dwight Rider 19 1:20.969 Ralt Rt-41 +26.581 13 09 J.R. Smart 19 1:23.305 Swift 014A +42.759 14 17 Bob Corliss 17 1:19.823 Swift 014A 3 Laps DNF 66 Richard Zober 9 1:20.619 Swift 016 Mazda 11 Laps