- 30 June 2012
Millville, NJ - David Grant made it three for three, taking the lead from the outside front row heading to turn one at New Jersey Motorsports Park’s 13-turn Thunderbolt track, going onto win and remain perfect in 2012 Atlantic ChampionshipSeries. Grant extended his points lead, and finished well ahead of second place Paul LeCain, who was fastest in practice and started from pole in the Ralt RT-41/Toyota, while Keith Grant, David’s brother, completed the podium.
David Grant, driving a Swift 014 chassis with Toyota power was untouchable at Road Atlanta in May, but faced a bit more of a challenge here with limited track time on Friday.
“That was a great race and this is a tough track, it’s my first time here,” said the winning brother, from Germantown, Tennessee, and driving for the Polestar Racing Group team. Grant also notched bonus points for fastest lap, running a 1:13.499 which means the No. 12 car will start from pole for Sunday’s race.
LeCain’s Ralt RT-41 had so far been the class of the field all weekend – as he was fastest in the No. 90 in both practice sessions and took pole by just a few thousandths of a second over Grant.
“I got a good start but I had the car sideways the first two laps trying to keep up with David on the cold tires,” said LeCain. “He was driving like an animal.”
Interestingly LeCain is running bias-ply tires and still has carburetors on his Toyota powerplant.
The margin of victory was just under 14 seconds in the all-green-flag 20 lap race.
Keith Grant rounded out the podium, coming back from a sixth place starting position after just three laps around the course in qualifying with mechanical gremlins on his No. 40 Swift 014/Toyota from Polestar Racing Group.
“I was hoping for some more time,” said Grant, as he was closing on LeCain in the closing stages of the race. “It was only my second time around this place, with just three laps yesterday.”
Keith will start second on Sunday, having run the second fastest race lap, while LeCain will line up third.
John Burke was fourth in the No. 55 Swift 014/Toyota while John Dole rounded out the top five in a Swift 016/Mazda, the first of the more recent Mazda-powered Atlantic Championship cars.
Chris Fahan followed in sixth position with John Thompson, Bruce Hamilton, Rich Zober and Andy Schaufelberger completing the top ten.
The Atlantic race saw a 3:50 local time start, with sweltering heat a major factor, as temperatures reached just below triple digits at race time.
A large storm overnight left the paddock a mess, with most awnings gone or severely damaged and teams racing to take the remaining ones down as more storms are predicted for Saturday night.
The weekend concludes at New Jersey Motorsports Park on Sunday, July 1 with race three of the 2012 season at 8:30 local time. The grid will be set from fast laps in Saturday’s race.
|Pos||No.||Name||Laps||Total Tm||Diff||Gap||Avg. Speed||Best Tm||Best Spd|
|10||34||Andy Schaufelberger||19||25:22.611||1 Lap||1 Lap||101.076||1:18.666||102.967|