- 17 May 2014
Watkins Glen – Twenty-two Atlantic cars took the green flag during race one of the Watkins Glen weekend. This weekend marks the first time the Atlantic Championship Series has run the Watkins Glen International circuit. Some teams have been here before, but for many drivers, this morning’s qualifying session was the first time they had completely dry laps on this track. Due to Friday’s weather, the first practice session was rained out and the second session was done on a wet track. Teams were not able to gather much set-up information from that session, but it did allow drivers new to this track to familiarize themselves before qualifying.
The qualifying session for race one on Saturday morning was the first qualifying session for the series at this track. Being the first fast laps set by the series, the fastest lap of 1:41.391 set by Daniel Burkett, has become the qualifying track record. The young Canadian driver also laid down the fastest lap of the race. Setting the Atlantic Championship Series Watkins Glen track record with a 1:41.153.
Burkett took his third win of the Atlantic Championship Season, being one of the most special wins for the career minded driver. “It was a great race, and my father was able to be here this weekend. This is the first time he has seen me race in an Atlantic and the first time he has seen me win a race, so it is incredible special for me to have him here to witness my win”, explained Burkett. The K-Hill Motorsport driver started from pole and “started to get into a rhythm” said Burkett, allowing him to pull away from second place finisher Ethan Ringel of COMPREP Motorsports.
Ringel, another young aspiring driver, started from second, but was shuffled back a bit in the start of the race. “I was jumped by Grant in the beginning”, Ringel said, but he quickly made up the position and held second for the majority of the race. Ringel stated that “set-up played a big part in the race and I’m hopeful to even the playing field a little more tomorrow, especially since I dropped two seconds between qualifying and the race”.
Coming in third place was Burkett’s teammate Conner Kearby, who had started behind his father, Gaston, in sixth place. However, after the conclusion of the race, Kearby was penalized two positions for passing under yellow conditions. This adjustment moved Ringel’s COMPREP teammate, Matt Miller into third, his first time on the Atlantic Championship Podium. Miller was running close with 2012 second place finisher, Keith Grant.
“I have been racing with Grant for a long time. It felt really good to be able to hang in there with him”, explained Miller about running ahead of Grant. He plans to make a few changes to the car and hopes to be up in the front again tomorrow.
Polestar Motor Racing’s Keith Grant finished fourth in race one. After his penalty, Conner Kearby, rounds out the top five.
The large Atlantic field had a number of battles going on throughout the race. A very tight competitive group was battling to round out the top ten. Hunter, Mallinen, Fahan, Zober, and Hamilton continuously ran the front straight in a tight group, switching positions every lap. Yelkin joined the battle later in the race and made his way up in the group, finishing tenth over all. Simpson finished sixth, followed by Gaston Kearby, Hunter, Zober, and Yelkin.
Qualifying for Race two at Watkins Glen starts at 9:20 Sunday morning followed by the race at 3:15pm local time.
|1||4||Daniel Burkett||15||1:41.153||Swift 016 Mazda||-|
|2||49||Ethan Ringel||15||1:42.275||Swift 016A Mazda||+14.439|
|3||82||Matt Miller||15||1:43.118||Swift 016.A Mazda||+42.649|
|4||40||Keith Grant||15||1:44.181||Swift 016 Mazda||+48.075|
|5||56||Conner Kearby||15||1:43.325||Swift 016 Mazda||+42.158|
|6||21||Jimmy Simpson||15||1:41.373||Swift 016 Mazda||+48.222|
|7||69||Gaston Kearby||15||1:45.596||Swift 016 Mazda||+1:12.680|
|8||22||Tyler Hunter||15||1:44.953||Swift 014||+1:23.170|
|9||66||Richard Zober||15||1:44.970||Swift 016 Mazda||+1:24.363|
|10||75||Sedat Yelkin||15||1:44.912||Swift 008 014||+1:27.502|
|11||06||Bruce Hamilton||15||1:45.729||Swift 014||+1:29.958|
|12||71||Michael Mallinen||15||1:45.459||Swift 016.A Mazda||+1:34.423|
|13||39||Chris Fahan||15||1:46.780||Swift 016 Mazda||+1:37.173|
|14||11||Dwight Rider||15||1:45.852||Ralt Rt-41||+1:38.474|
|15||70||Lewis Cooper, Jr.||14||1:46.725||Swift 014 A||1 Lap|
|16||74||Brian Pickering||14||1:50.532||Ralt Rt-41||+49.988|
|17||34||Andy Schaufelberger||14||1:52.312||Swift Mazda||+1:12.429|
|18||3||Mark Sherwood||14||1:49.686||Ralt Rt-41||+1:12.733|
|19||09||J.R. Smart||13||1:56.294||Swift 014A||2 Laps|
|20||2||Mark Felsen||13||1:58.835||Swift 014||+24.618|
|21||17||Bob Corliss||12||1:46.836||Swift 014A||3 Laps|
|DNF||5||Bruce Crockett||4||1:48.118||Swift 014||11 Laps|