Keyvan Andres Claims Back-to-Back Wins at Watkins Glen
Watkins Glen, NY - Sitting at the pole position, K-Hill Motorsports team member and driver of the No. 47 car, Keyvan Andres came out of turn one in the lead at the start of race two, putting him in position to win his second Atlantic Championship Series race in two days at Watkins Glen. Andres then continued to pull away from the rest of the field as the race continued, gaining a nearly four second lead by the tenth lap. Completing the podium was Keith Grant in second, followed by Garth Rickards in third.
“I messed up my start a little bit so he (Grant), got ahead of me, but I was on the inside so I kept my position,” said Andres on the start of the race. “He (Grant) almost made a move at the bus stop, but then again I managed to hold him off, he kept putting pressure on me, I said I have to push now, and got away,” he continued.
Sitting behind Andres for the entirety of the race was Grant, who was seemingly closing the gap for the latter half of the race. His push however, was not enough to overtake Andres, and after mechanical issues plagued him on the last lap he settled with a second place finish.
“My blue light came on for my battery with two laps left, I thought the motor might start cutting out, and the car wouldn’t shift anymore, at turn eight the car stuck in third, I thought I would just finish out in third gear but then everything shut off at the finish line,” said Grant on his late in the race mechanical failure.”
“Pretty lucky day, the car handled great all day and I had a good race with the first place car for a little while but he gapped me and I couldn’t seem to make it up,” he then continued about his second place podium finish.
Rickards took third in his season debut weekend. Rickards did a repeat of his performance in race one of the weekend where he also finished in third.
“I can’t seem to ever find the top step here. I am really happy with the first weekend here in the Atlantic Series, hopefully find some more pace, keep learning and fight for more wins,” said Rickards.
Fourth place finisher Connor Burke came onto the grid late, giving him a last place start for race two, he then moved up the field as the race continued. Burke ultimately gained twelve positions on the field, and closed out the race with an impressive fourth place.
Staying together for the majority of the race were Comprent Motor Sports drivers Rich Zober and Chris Ash. Zober ended up with a fifth place finish with Ash behind him in sixth after an entertaining race-long battle.
Finishing seventh overall and first in the Atlantic Challenge class as well as the father of Connor Burke was John Burke in a Swift 014/Toyota.
Completing the top ten were Andy Schaufelberger in eighth, Mike Jacques in ninth, and Bob Corliss in tenth. Corliss also finished second in the Atlantic Challenge class.
An interesting last lap resulted in an incident between Lewis Cooper Jr. and Bruce Hamilton, resulting in neither of the Atlantic Challenge competitors being able to finish.
Conner Kearby, who placed second in race one of the weekend, held fourth place until only two laps remained when he had to retire due to mechanical issues.
Driver of the only RT-41 on the track and Atlantic Challenge competitor Mark Sherwood retired after completing four laps of the second race of the weekend. Also unable to finish the race was previous Atlantic Challenge winner Gaston Kearby. Dudley Fleck, who at one point climbed as high as fifth position was also unable to finish.
Full results are available at www.atlanticchampionshipseries.com under the results tab.
Rounds five and six of the Atlantic Championship Series continue at the Virginia International Raceway June 5-7.