Pro Formula Atlantic Is Alive, Again
To say that David Grant and his Polestar Swift had a strong season is an understatement. Asked about the low point of was his season, he says, “Not winning Summit Point.” After winning the first four events, all he did at Summit was to come home second on Saturday to clinch the championship.
David said he and his brother Keith (who took 2nd in the Championship) were attracted to the series by quality track time. “In Atlantics you are closing fast on other classes. It is so much better to be out there with just your own class. You get to go full bore in qualifying for five to seven good hard laps. In multi-class racing you hope to get one clean lap.”
David’s voice picks up the pace as he describes what he loves about Atlantics. “Speed, downforce and incredible grip levels. There’s nothing like it. We pull 3 ½ G’s in the turns. The day after a race I’m sore.” He talks about getting the aero right and hanging on for the ride of his life. His favorite track is Road Atlanta. “We are flat through Turn One with a minimum speed of 125 mph. You need to hit just the right spot or you are gone.”
Learning new tracks was his biggest challenge this year, outside of his brother, and Tonis Kasemats when he appeared at Summit Point. Road Atlanta was not just his favorite track, it was the only one all year that he had seen. “Without a full test day, I had just two sessions to pick up a track before qualifying.” He was particularly gratified to win both races at New Jersey Motorsports Park despite no prior experience there.
Grant praised the high level of professionalism of the Series administration. “They adhere to a proper time schedule which enables us to manage our resources and get ready properly. The officials know what they are doing. They are very experienced and they make the competitors happy.”
Brother Keith in a near identical appearing Polestar Swift Toyota kept David honest and finished second to David in the points tally followed by John Burke, Bruce Hamilton and Dwight Ryder. Tonis Kasemets made a very strong impact at Summit Point with a 12 second win over David on Saturday. Tonis finished first on track on Sunday as well but was demoted for blocking, a call he disputes. John Dole, the only driver to start on slicks, did a great job of surviving the early wet laps and got very close to Tonis at the line and was awarded the win.