- 07 April 2015
Salem, NH - With the first race of the season but a few days away; the grid for the Atlantic Championship Series is looking strong, and is sure to make the now 14 race, seven weekend schedule as competitive as ever as teams and drivers fight for the Championship, starting at Road Atlanta.
Rule changes for this season include longer races, from 30 minutes to now 40 minutes, as well as different restrictor requirements. Swift 016 race cars will receive a smaller 33mm restrictor, while Swift 014 Toyota (1800cc engine) powered Atlantic cars will receive a larger, 31mm restrictor.
A more recent change is the announcement that Gulf is now the official fuel for the series. All Atlantic cars must use Gulf Racing Fuel MACH 110 octane unleaded race gas for the 2015 season. Hoosier tires will also be the tires used for the 2015 season.
K-Hill Motorsports will be coming into the season as reigning champs, and after winning seven races in 2014, they will have all eyes on them as they take another shot at the title.
Representing the K-Hill lineup will be 17-year-old driver of the No. 56 Swift 016/Mazda, Conner Kearby, who is the highest finishing driver from 2014 back for 2015.
K-Hill will also have Conner’s father, Gaston Kearby there, as well as Bruce Hamilton, who did well at PBIR with a second place finish.
Some faces that will not be returning to the track for the series include 2014 champion Daniel Burkett, as well as Ethan Ringel who also did well this past season. Burkett is now racing in the Pro Mazda series while Ringel is chasing the title in the Indy Lights series and can be found behind the No. 71 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports car.
Polestar driver Keith Grant, who finished second in 2012 and third in 2014, will also be at Road Atlanta with teammate Lewis Cooper Jr.
Making a short trip from Athens, Georgia, Comprent Motorsports has Rich Zober, Bob Corliss and Ted Zorbas looking for the win at Road Atlanta.
Pabst Racing driver JR Smart who made the podium at the pre-season race in Palm Beach will also be back for more at Atlanta.
Another big addition to this season is the Atlantic Challenge. All drivers over the age of 50 will be eligible, regardless of chassis, and all chassis older than the Swift 014 will be eligible regardless of driver age. Examples of eligible chassis include: the Swift 008 and DB 4, Ralt Rt41 and Rt40, Reynard, as well as several others. The Atlantic Challenge will have its own podium, but drivers are still eligible for overall victory and will also have their own prize fund.
The series will also be taking teams and drivers to New York at Watkins Glen in May, Virginia International Raceway in June, Mid Ohio the next month, and then Pittsburgh, New Jersey, and back to Pittsburgh again to end the season in October.
The exciting lineup for Road Atlanta, as well as whatever the following races have in store are going to make this season one to watch. With changes in tires, fuel, engine specs, and a large difference in the schedule; the 2015 Atlantic Championship Series is going to keep teams, drivers, and fans alike all wondering who will win the championship this year.
The 2015 Atlantic Championship season will kick off with unofficial testing starting on Thursday, practice sessions on Friday, then followed by qualifying and main events on both Saturday and Sunday.