- 08 May 2012
Braselton, GA – The new Atlantic Championship Series debuts for 2012 this weekend at Road Atlanta for rounds one and two of the three-weekend, six-race 2012 Series with a number of drivers, cars, chassis, engines and teams expected to kick off the Series around the 12-turn Road Atlanta circuit with Formula Drift and the F2000 Championship Series.
The entry lists sees a variety of chassis, ranging from the Ralt RT-41 powered by a Toyota 1600 or 1800 Atlantic powerplant to the newer, more modern, but spec Swift 016 Mazda.
Teams range from K-Hill Motorsports, entering a fleet of Atlantic cars, to Atlantic experts, Polestar Racing Group, with two entries, and also John Walko Racing and Swan Racing.
The Series is being organized by Formula Race Promotions, who also owns and operates the F1600 Formula F Championship Series and the F2000 Championship Series, also at Road Atlanta.
“In 2006, we started F2000 with 13 cars, and here we are doing it all over again with Atlantics,” said Michael Rand, managing director. “It’s certainly a bit of deja vu with great hopes and expectations that the Atlantic Championship Series will be as well received and supported in time as F2000 has been.”
At the front of the field, the eyes are on the big teams, K-Hill, with Theodoras Zorbas, Bruce Hamilton and Andy Schaufelberger. Zorbas will pilot a Swift 014 Toyota, while both Hamilton and Schaufelberger will have the recent Swift 016 Mazda package.
At Polestar, which has an impressive Atlantic resume of wins and Championships, along with three F2000 entries for the weekend, are brothers Keith and David Grant, both in Swift 014 Toyotas.
“My goal is to win both of the races,” said Keith Grant. “It can be a challenge to get your car set up just right at Road Atlanta. If I am able to get the car to handle well on Thursday, we should be able to challenge for the lead throughout the weekend.”
He pointed to Mike Mallinen – driving a Swift 014 for Swan, and Jason Byers, as some of the tough competition for the weekend.
Byers, who has also raced F2000 among other things, is in a Swift 014 Toyota for Swan Racing.
“The goal for Atlanta is win, win and win,” noted Byers. “I ran a couple F2000 races in 2007 and found them to be well run and fun to be at; I don't see why this addition to the F1600 and F2000 Series should be any different”
Brendan Puderbach is on the entry list, doing double duty for John Walko Racing alongside his No. 31 F2000 entry, and Dwight Rider moves over from the F2000 Series to run Atlantics for Front Range Motorsports.
And Rich Zober will contest the weekend in his Swift 016 Mazda for Comprent Motorsports.
“This Series is an outstanding idea,” said Zober. “The first race at Road Atlanta will be interesting. My goal is a top-five finish but with the differences in the cars, who knows. I do anticipate a fair number of challenges, the biggest is getting the most performance from the car. We are still learning the 016.”
Road Atlanta kicks off with three practice sessions on Thursday morning, followed by 5:15pm local time qualifying. After an 8:15am warmup on Friday, Atlantic will race at 3:00pm for 18 laps, and Saturday sees a 9:30am qualifying session followed by a 12:30pm race. Qualifying and races will feature live audio on www.livestream.com/F2000. News, results, updates and photos will be available on www.AtlanticChampionshipSeries.com.