- 08 April 2014
Abbottstown, PA- K-Hill Motorsports plans to be a major factor in the 2014 Atlantic Championship Series, entering a number of Swift Atlantic cars in the upcoming pro series season opener at Road Atlanta, April 11-13.
A late signing, Canadian Daniel Burkett will re-unite with the K-Hill crew after a successful first event with the team at the SCCA Double National in March at Road Atlanta. Burkett drove a Mazda-powered Swift 016 at the event, finishing second in the first race, and finishing first in the second race. Burkett comes into the Road Atlanta weekend as the only Canadian driver in the field and is ready to duplicate the results he had at the same track just a few weeks ago.
Road Atlanta will mark Burkett’s debut in the Atlantic Championship. However Burkett is also a USF2000 regular. He completed his opening event in the USF2000 series in St. Petersburg with a top five finish against the deeply talented 2014 field.
“USF2000 is where I’ve been putting most of my attention this year” Burkett commented.
“But Kris and the rest of the K-Hill crew have offered me a fantastic opportunity to drive one of the best Junior Formula cars out there and I simply couldn’t turn down their offer. The event we did earlier in the year was a huge success, we gelled very well as a team and that’s what got us talking about getting a deal done for the pro series.”
Burkett will join fellow Atlantic driver Bruce Hamilton who is also driving for K-Hill Motorsports in the 2014 Atlantic Championship.
A third car is entered for Bruce “Rocket” Crockett, the No. 6 Swift 014/Toyota.
Crockett scored his first racing win in 1982 in a Datsun 280ZX after qualifying dead last in a field of 25 cars. It was his first visit to the Charlotte Motor Speedway and his second race in the Datsun, so he faced a steep learning curve going into the event.
Always underfunded and racing on credit, picking up a tire sponsor for the 1983 season allowed him to go to the SCCA Runoffs for the first time. He then switched to the Skip Barber Formula Ford series and discovered his love of driving open-wheeled cars. His friends started calling him Rocket Crockett due to his reputation for quick starts.
Bruce was the Northeast Division Formula Mazda Champion in 2012, and made the switch to FA in the middle of the 2013 season driving a Swift 014. He scored a second place finish in his first Atlantic race by passing two competitors on the curb in turn one with two laps to go at New Jersey Motorsports Park. He backed that up with another second place finish after starting last in the wet on slicks at Road America driving a borrowed Swift 016, on top of a win and track record at the Pocono SCCA Majors in 2013.
Those three cars will be joined by a father-and-son pairing, Gaston and Conner Kearby.
The father, Gaston, from Corpus Christi, Texas, is the current SCCA Majors Mid-States Champion.
The Texan will continue his relationship with K-Hill Motorsports and their .016a program, grown through the SCCA Majors Tour, by joining them for the pro series. It's something he's been building toward over the past few years.
"We have a great friend and partner in Kris Kaiser and K-Hill Motorsports, and we're excited to be joining them for the Atlantic Championship," said Gaston Kearby.
"Moving up to the pro races has been a goal of mine from the start, now we're here, and I get to compete alongside my son, which adds to the fun."
Gaston is joined by his 16-year-old son Conner, who is also racing in the F2000 Series for K-Hill at Road Atlanta this weekend.
Conner has spent much of his youth in some form of racing competition, starting with BMX at age four. He was introduced to road racing at age 12, practicing in a Formula Mazda at MotorSport Ranch in Cresson, Texas. After racing FM in SCCA during the 2013 season, he made the jump to FA alongside his father, Gaston Kearby, who competed in FA during 2013, claiming the SCCA Mid-States Majors Championship.
The father and son duo currently compete in both the SCCA Mid-States and Eastern Conference Majors. During the first Mid-States race at NOLA, Conner and Gaston fought each other for the lead, with Conner capturing 1st for the very first time in FA.
"I love racing Formula Atlantic," said Conner. "It's become second nature for me as I'm very comfortable in the car and with the style of racing it demands. I'm looking forward to racing the Atlantic Championship with my dad and K-Hill Motorsports. We've got a great team and I think we'll do well in the hunt for the Championship.
Not only will Conner be competing in the Atlantic Championship, he'll be pulling double duty by competing in the F2000 Championship in a K-Hill Motorsports Formula Ford.
"F2000 is going to be a different kind of challenge for me," said Conner. "The H pattern, wide fields and different approach to driving will push me physically and mentally."