K-Hill Motorsports Flexes Muscle at NJMP
Abbottstown, Pennsylvania squad K-Hill Motorsports owned the Atlantic Championship Series races this weekend at the tight and twisty New Jersey Motorsports Park. Led by Kris Kaiser, the team secured 5 of the 6 available overall podium positions, in addition to two race wins, across the two 40 minute races.
Rising stars Keyvan Andres, Conner Kearby and Garth Rickards lead the way for K-Hill as they qualified second, third and fourth respectively. However, a penalty to pole sitter Keith Grant moved Andres and Kearby to the first and second starting positions for Race 1.
The start proved to be hectic as Kearby attempted a move for the lead but dropped two wheels off which sent him across track. He was then hit by several cars which effectively ended his race and brought out a full course caution. This also had championship implications as his main contender for the Atlantic crown, Keith Grant, would avoid the chaos and finish the race unscathed.
Once the field went back to green, German born Andres led the way followed closely by Grant and Rickards. Despite being under pressure for several laps, Keyvan started to separate himself from Grant and Rickards, in the mean time setting quickest race lap. This set the stage for a one-on-one fight for second between Keith and Garth.
Despite numerous overtaking attempts on Grant, the Pennsylvania native was unable to find a way by for the runner-up position and finished with a strong third place.
In the Atlantic Challenge, K-Hill drivers Gaston Kearby and Bruce Hamilton swept the first two spots of the podium.
Sunday qualifying proved a similar story for the defending Atlantic Series Champions, as they secured 3 of the top 4 starting positions and locked out the front row with Andres and Rickards.
Race 2’s start had everybody on the edge of their seats as the American Rickards had an impressive move on the outside of the German in turn 1 to take the lead from his teammate. Meanwhile, Conner replicated Garth’s move and took took the high line around Turn 1 to grab third from his championship rival Grant. There was some jostling in the middle of the pack, and slight contact between Gaston and Richard Zober. Both cars did manage to continue though.
As the race developed, Garth and Keyvan started to gap Kearby and Grant as the pair battled for critical championship points.
The action started to heat up between the two K-Hill teammates at the front of the field with about 10 to go. As the two young guns sliced and diced their way through lap traffic, Andres used this to his advantage and made an aggressive move around the outside of Rickards to take the lead. However, Garth fought hard to take the lead back but was unable to do so, finishing a hard fought second right behind Keyvan who swept the weekend.
Meanwhile, Conner and Grant duked it out for the final spot on the podium. Thanks to some nifty moves in traffic, the Texas native would rebound from Saturday and deliver a podium finish for a K-Hill lock out.
Conner’s father Gaston would again lead the Atlantic Challenge drivers to the checkered flag with Bruce Hamilton delivering another 1-2 finish for K-Hill Motorsports.
“I had a tough start in Race 2 and Garth was able to slip around the outside of turn 1 and stretch a small gap. I started to run him down, then we caught some lapped traffic. We both got through cleanly and I was able to make a pass for the lead and weekend sweep.” #47, Keyvan Andres
“The start of the Race 1 went really well for me and I was able to get a pretty good jump. I carried just a bit too much speed into turn 1 though and dropped two wheels off. That spun me across the track where I was hit by two other cars. It was unfortunate, but big thanks to the guys for getting the car back together.” #56, Conner Kearby
“It was a really good weekend for the team and myself. We rolled off the truck well and fixed any issues we had very quickly. We have shown we have the pace to win and now just need to put it all together.” #83, Garth Rickards
K-Hill Motorsports is based out of Abbottstown, Pennsylvania. With numerous championships under thier belt, including the Atlantic Series Championship in 2014, K-Hill has a winning pedigree. In addition to their Pro racing efforts, the Kris Kaiser led operation runs a variety of vintage cars, ranging from Indy Lights to classic Formula Fords. You can follow K-Hill on Facebook at K-Hill Motorsports and on Twitter @KHillMotorsport.