- 14 October 2015
Salem, NH – The math is on Keith Grant’s side to lock up the 2015 Atlantic Championship Series title for Polestar Gracing Group this weekend at Pittsburgh International Race Complex for rounds 13 and 14 of the Atlantic season, marking the season finale.
The Championship leader’s pace in the most recent rounds at New Jersey Motorsports Park (NJMP) was nothing short of incredible as the No. 40 took pole position on a perfect Saturday morning, re-setting the overall track record with a lap of 1:10.473. He consolidated a strong opening performance with second and fourth place finishes in both NJMP rounds.
The Championship battle was on full display in race two in New Jersey, as title challenger Conner Kearby made his car wide to keep Grant at bay, for a podium finish and a few essential extra points.
Kearby will need a maximum points weekend at Pittsburgh and will need for some bad luck to hit Grant for the No. 56 driver to have a realistic shot at the title.
Returning to Pittsburgh where the Series raced on the brand new road course in early August, Grant easily took both wins there. Grant has so far put together a strong and consistent season, with the sweep at Pittsburgh coming on top of single wins at VIR, Mid-Ohio and Road Atlanta.
It hasn’t been without drama though, as he frequently has battled on track with Kearby, and contact has been part of the story line between the two rivals.
Sweeping the Thunderbolt weekend at New Jersey Motorsports Park was K-Hill's Keyvan Andres, who was the class of the field, taking both wins in the No. 47 Swift 016/Mazda.
It was the second race that saw the lead battle turn up the heat, as Andres pulled out a brave move in turn one on the outside to take the lead over teammate and fellow aspiring racer Garth Rickards. F1600 graduate Rickards has made it no secret he is looking to close out the season with his first trip to the top step of the podium in an Atlantic car.
Andres, running a limited season, has taken victories at Watkins Glen, VIR and New Jersey, starting seven races and taking home five first place trophies. The two non-wins saw a cut tire at Pittsburgh in a single start, and second place by just over one second to Grant in the second race at VIR.
Marking the end of the season, Pittsburgh will also put a close on the Atlantic Challenge division, where Gaston Kearby enjoys a healthy points lead over Comprent driver Bob Corliss, in the No. 17 Swift 014/Toyota. Teammates Chris Ash and Richard Zober have run strong seasons as well, competing in all the rounds, with Zober’s highlight of the season thus far with a podium at Road Atlanta.
Atlantic drivers and teams will face three days and lots of track time in Pittsburgh, with two free practice sessions on Friday, and races on Saturday and Sunday to close out the 2015 Championship.