- 13 January 2015
After coming off a dominant last season, Daniel Burkett, the nineteen-year-old Canadian born driver of the No. 4 Swift 016/Mazda from K-Hill Motorsports caught up with us on how he walked away champion of the 2014 Atlantic Championship Series.
“We started off the season very strong with a dominant performance at Road Atlanta and that really got us rolling in the right direction,” said Burkett while talking about his early lead in the championship that started at Road Atlanta."
That first win at Atlanta was Burkett’s high point of the season. “It was my first win in a junior open-wheel series and it’ll always stick with me.
“The fact that I could prove to myself that I can win a race was a huge confidence boost.”
Burkett also faced some hardships in the season when he spun out during race one at Thompson. “I was really hoping to have a perfect weekend at Thompson by going out with both track records, both poles, and two wins. After I got spun I knew that wasn’t possible, it was bittersweet to say the least that I was able to make it back to the podium.”
He also talked about his troubles at Virginia International Raceway when Burkett failed to make a lap. “The VIR race was tough because there wasn’t any reason for it, unexplained mechanical failure.”
“Preparation,” is what Burkett finds leads to success. “My car was always 100 percent ready to go and in tiptop shape,” Burkett said, and then with no hesitation continues by thanking his team.
“Many of my other competitors had a hard time getting their cars to run properly, however the K-Hill crew and Jethro made sure I had maximum track time.”
Burkett also feels that track time is another big factor in the success of a driver. “I would say that’s the biggest key to any junior championship, more track time equals more experience which is what all-young drivers need.”
“Team chemistry is number one in my opinion.” Burkett talked about the importance of a good relationship between a driver and team. “The best piece of advice I have is to find a team you have a great chemistry with and the success will come by itself.”
“Well, I can definitely tell you that I’m going to surprise a lot of people.”
Burkett, who will be driving for Cape Motorsports in the Pro Mazda championship, has a confident and enthusiastic outlook for the 2015 season. “I see myself making a run for the championship, winning a few races and making a name for myself,” said Burkett.
Burkett has a great appreciation for his experiences in the Atlantic Championship Series; and doesn’t plan on going anywhere in his career but forward.