- 06 June 2015
Alton, VA - Some last minute position changes allowed Keyvan Andres to take the win in race one for the Atlantic Championship Series VIR weekend. Garth Rickards was able to score a second place podium spot in his Swift 016/Mazda and behind him was Keith Grant in the No. 40 Polestar car.
Andres held second place as the top three drivers ran nose to tail for nearly the entire race until Grant made a mistake and ran off the track, giving the young K-Hill driver the opportunity to take the number one spot. This marks the third win in a row for Andres after his double win performance at Watkins Glen in May. Andres will now be trying to get four in a row in his Swift 016/Mazda as the weekend continues with both qualifying and race two on Sunday.
“This track is really hard to pass so I was hoping for something to happen, not something that big, just a little mistake, but once that happened all the hard work paid off,” said Andres on Grant’s last minute mistake. “It was a really intense battle having to look both in front and behind me,” he continued on being in between Grant and Rickards for the majority of the race.
Rickards was able to bump up to second place after Grant’s mishap. The former F1600 driver moves up this weekend at VIR with the second place finish after his back-to-back third place finishes at Watkins Glen.
“It was a good finish, we had the fastest lap of the race; this is different than F1600, it is so much harder to pass. It’s a real blessing, some people take it for granted and I’m just happy to be here,” said Rickards.
Although an unfortunate mistake, Grant was the man who allowed for all the action to happen at the end of race one. Coming into the weekend as the points leader Grant is now dealing with some serious competition; but will have the chance to make up for the day as race two awaits on Sunday.
“I just spun it on my own, he was quicker in a few places and I had him in a few other places but I just blew it in the end,” said Grant on the events near the end of the 22-lap race.
Behind the top three was K-Hill motorsports driver Conner Kearby in fourth position. Kearby’s No. 56 car was able to put him in fourth for the start for the start of the race but he was unable to make any ground during race one.
Comprent driver Rich Zober ended up with a fifth place finish in his Swift 016/Mazda.
Behind Zober was the battle for the Atlantic Challenge division. Lewis Cooper Jr., John Burke, and Bob Corliss all ran close to one another throughout the race. In the end it was Lewis Cooper Jr. in the Martini car that took first in the Atlantic Challenge.
“This was a great weekend, I had a fun race with John for a little while, and it was a good race,” said Cooper Jr. on his finish.
John Burke and Bob Corliss took second and third in the Atlantic Challenge in their Swift 014/Toyotas. The two drivers also took seventh and eighth overall for race one.
Despite moving up to sixth place early in the race, a mechanical issue left Connor Burke in ninth place at the end of the race, followed by Bruce Crockett in tenth.
Bruce Hamilton had to retire early in the race due to mechanical issues. Gaston Kearby however had an unscheduled pit stop in the latter half of the race but was unable to recover and ended up not being able to finish as well.
For full results visit www.AtlanticChampionshipSeries.com under the results tab.
The Atlantic Championship Series continues Sunday June 7 with both qualifying and racing on the final day of the VIR Weekend.