Grant Outpaces Kearby in Pittsburgh Practice
Wampum, PA – As the battle for the 2015 Atlantic Championship Series title enters its final six races, the two drivers locked at the top of the standings were one and two after a long day of practice at the new Pittsburgh International Race Complex. Keith Grant was able to flex his muscle, however, driving away from Conner Kearby by a full second for fastest lap of Friday at Pittsburgh.
The Championship points leader is fresh off a win at Mid-Ohio, and paced both Friday sessions at the 2.8-mile Pittsburgh track by about a second each time. The fastest lap of the day for the No. 40 Polestar Swift 016/Mazda came in the morning at 1:33.530, with Grant backing that up on a slightly greasier track in the afternoon at 1:34.566. By comparison, the fastest F2000 lap of the day came in the high 1:39-range, and the quickest F1600 lap compared at 1:47 flat.
Grant’s main title challenger, Conner Kearby, launched a best effort of 1:34.482 in the morning practice session in his Swift at 016/Mazda. The K-Hill driver could not get the better of Grant in the afternoon, settling for another second place run at 1:35.563.
The new Pittsburgh track layout was designed with high-speed GT-style cars in mind, making it wide and flowing to easily accommodate the Atlantic Championship field this weekend, and looking promising for a competitive two races.
Third on the morning time sheets was Comprent's Richard Zober, also driving a Swift 016/Mazda. Zober showed considerable pace in similar fashion at Mid-Ohio, practicing well on Friday, but was not able to convert the early-weekend pace into a solid result. The veteran driver looks to keep his pace going, and was fourth fastest in the afternoon session.
It was Gaston Kearby that Zober swapped spots with, as the second Kearby on the Formula Atlantic grid was the first of the Atlantic Challenge competitors in each 30-minute session, and third quick in the afternoon practice session.
Track-time moved along quickly during the day, with no stoppages during either Atlantic session as the Championship continues along its 2015 schedule, joining up as usual with F1600 and F2000.
Chris Ash was the second of the Comprent drivers in the top five in both sessions. Driving a built-for-2015 Atlantic Creations Swift 016/Mazda, Ash was fifth in both practices, with his faster time coming by three tenths in the morning.
Following Ash was his teammate Bob Corliss, another Atlantic Challenge competitor, in the No. 17 Robert Talbott Motorsports Swift 014/Toyota.
Brian Novak logged considerable track time; unloading on Friday morning and running both practice sessions in full for his No. 74 Swift 014/Honda development program.
Full results are available on www.AtlanticChampionshipSeries.com under the Results tab.
The weekend rolls along with morning qualifying and afternoon races from Pittsburgh on both Saturday and Sunday.