b_200_133_16777215_00_images_stories_15season_atl_DSC02535.JPGBraselton, GA - Eighteen year old Ryan Norman led flag-to-flag, from pole, to win the first race of the 2016 Atlantic Championship Series season at Road Atlanta. Norman held off an early challenge from reigning 2015 Series Champion Keith Grant, before Grant retired with a mechanical failure. Lee Alexander and Bruce Hamilton completed the Atlantic podium.

"It was a good race, we had a little over-steer but I tried to stay consistent. It's a great start to the season and K-Hill gave me a great car," said Norman.

Norman took the lead on the start in his No. 48 K-Hill Motorsports Swift 016/Mazda, but had his hands more than full with Grant, who stayed glued to Norman for the opening laps before white smoke from the back of his No. 40 put an end to his day.

Behind the lead battle, Alexander, driving for Comprent, spent the opening laps of the race behind Zober before he made a move on the Series veteran for third overall, and was promoted to second when Grant was forced to retire his Swift 016/Mazda.

"We had a gearbox issue in qualifying and it was a scramble to make the start," said Alexander. "I saw cars dropping out in front of me and I'm just happy to finish in second."

Comprent's Zober didn't fall behind Alexander too much, however, as he stayed right with his teammate, also having to deal with a racy Bruce Hamilton, who won the Atlantic Challenge class with his run in the K-Hill Swift 014/Toyota.

Zober was looking to complete the podium in third before he was forced to pit road with an issue with just a handful of laps left in the race. He has traditionally run well at Road Atlanta and hopes to improve during Sunday's race, round two of a 14-race Atlantic season.

Completing the top five were Johnpaul Ciancimino and Lewis Cooper Jr. The race ran to its full distance and was run without a full course caution.

Full results from all sessions are available on www.F1600Series.com, www.F2000Series.com, and www.AtlanticChampionshipSeries.com.