David Grant Doubles Up at Road Atlanta

May 12, 2012
David Grant leads Jason Byers in the early stages of the race. (photo: Valet)

Braselton, GA – David Grant made it two for two at Road Atlanta, leading from pole relatively uncontested for his second win in two days, and again setting fastest lap en route to the victory. Grant, driving a Swift 014/Toyota for Polestar Racing Group, stood on the top step of the podium with Bruce Hamilton finishing second and Keith Grant completing the top three.

“This was a great weekend,” said Grant, who celebrated his birthday on Friday with two race wins. “I don’t like restarts but they are the name of the game.”

Grant will go down in the Series archives as the first winner, and first to sweep a weekend in this version of the Atlantic formula, which is scheduled to run three doubleheader weekends this year. With Road Atlanta complete, the Series next heads to New Jersey in late June, and Summit Point towards the end of August.

Hamilton was on the next step of the podium for K-Hill Motorsports in a Swift 016/Mazda, having battled with Jason Byers before mechanical problems sidelined the Swift 014.

“That was a fun race,” noted Hamilton during victory interviews, also giving credit to the K-Hill squad, which plans to enter some five cars at the next round in New Jersey.

Keith Grant, David’s brother, also driving a Swift 014/Toyota for Polestar, finished second in the race on Friday, after an engine failure in practice, but couldn’t match that, having to move to a borrowed Swift 014/Toyota after a mechanical issue in early-morning qualifying. A short turnaround time following qualifying didn’t help, but that Grant brother was able to come back, finishing a distant third after 18 laps.

“I was just glad I made the race,” Grant commented. “I need to thank John Burke for lending me a car, it was totally different to drive, with different belts and gearing, it took half the race to get used to it.”

Dwight Rider finished fourth for Front Range Motorsports in a Ralt RT-41/Toyota, with Theodoras Zorbas following in fifth, in a Swift 014/Toyota, also for the K-Hill Motorsports squad.

Brendan Puderbach was sixth in the Fat Boy Racing/John Walko Racing Pro Formula Mazda, having also contested the F0200 Championship Series race just an hour before, as both Series shared the Road Atlanta race track with Global Time Attack and Formula Drift.

Byers meanwhile, looked to improve upon his third place effort on Friday in a Swift 014/Toyota, but couldn’t capitalize, running second for most of the race before a mechanical problem sidelined the Swan Racing driver with six laps to go. The only caution of the race was put out when Joe Blacker made heavy contact with the front straight wall come down the hill out of turn 12. Blacker was uninjured but there was considerable damage to the No. 29 Ralt chassis.

The No. 66 entry of Rich Zober did not start the race. Zober showed speed in his Swift 016/Mazda earlier in the weekend but failed to finish on Friday with a reported mechanical problem.

The inaugural season of the Atlantic Championship Series resumes at New Jersey Motorsports Park, for rounds three and four, of six, June 29 – July 1.

 Race Results:

Pos No. Name Laps Total Tm Diff Gap Avg. Speed Best Tm Best Spd 1 12 David Grant 18 25:39.906 - - 106.884 1:16.895 118.915 2 36 Bruce Hamilton 18 26:15.295 +35.389 +35.389 104.483 1:20.099 114.159 3 40 Keith Grant 18 26:39.015 +59.109 +23.720 102.933 1:21.049 112.821 4 11 Dwight Rider 18 26:41.366 +1:01.460 +2.351 102.782 1:22.550 110.769 5 2 Theodoras Zorbas 18 26:51.811 +1:11.905 +10.445 102.116 1:23.561 109.429 6 31 Brendan Puderbach 17 25:46.551 1 Lap 1 Lap 100.513 1:25.015 107.557 7 55 John Burke 15 22:09.135 3 Laps 2 Laps 103.195 1:20.034 114.251 8 28 Jason Byers 12 18:02.668 6 Laps 3 Laps 101.350 1:18.733 116.139 9 29 Joe Blacker 4 12:19.694 14 Laps 8 Laps 49.447 1:24.426 108.308 DNS 66 Rich Zober 0 -.--- - - - -.--- -

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