Burkett Quickest in Last Practice of Season
Thompson, CT – The Atlantic Championship Series started its final practice day of the 2014 season at Thompson Speedway on Friday morning, with K-Hill’s Daniel Burkett setting the pace. Burkett’s fastest lap was a 1:02.139, which he attained during the afternoon practice session. The driver from Winnipeg, who will clinch the championship on Saturday’s race, was able to shave off about sixth tenths of a second off his morning time to set that fast lap. Ethan Ringel was the only other driver able to keep up with Burkett and get a lap in the 1:02’s.
The Atlantic tour marks its season finale with a double race weekend, rounds nine and 10 of the 2014 season, which has been dominated by Burkett.
In both practice sessions, the youngest drivers claimed the top times at the new road course. Burkett was quickest in both sessions, followed by COMPREP’s Ringel and Burkett’s K-Hill teammate, Connor Kearby. Polestar’s Keith Grant, and K-Hill’s Gaston Kearby had the third and fourth quickest laps, with Grant being fourth in the morning session, and Gaston taking fourth in the afternoon session.
The Atlantic cars are the fastest cars to ever circulate Thompson’s twisting corners, and the track has been busy promoting a spectator weekend.
The morning session had a black flag incident involving Atlantic Challenge young driver, Connor Burke, whose car was beyond repair after a hard hit into the turn 10 wall. Burke was able to start the afternoon practice session after switching to a different 014 Atlantic car.
The Thompson course has been challenging the drivers with multiple tight and narrow turns, and features a neat transition onto the track’s oval, going clockwise through turns three and four (of the oval track) on the apron.
Burkett said he was confident after the first practice that he could push the car and get his time down into the 1:01’s. He was very close in the afternoon session, and most likely, with qualifying one being a morning session on fresh Hoosier tires, he will get down to that time.
Bruce Hamilton, of K-Hill Motorsports, was sixth quick in both practice sessions. In the morning Connor Burke was seventh, followed by his father John in eighth. Practice session two saw John Burke in seventh and K-Hill’s Bruce Crockett in eighth.
Qualifying for race one will take place at 10:50 a.m. local time on Saturday, followed by the race at 2:10 p.m. local time. Saturday night features the season awards banquet while the actual Championship concludes with round 10 on Sunday.