- 14 May 2016
Watkins Glen, NY - From the outside of the front row, K-Hill Motorsports driver Ryan Norman took his second win in three 2016 Atlantic Championship Series starts in a wet race at Watkins Glen International. Driving the No. 48 Swift 016/Mazda to victory lane, Norman finished first in a commanding performance ahead of Dudley Fleck, who passed Keith Grant for second place on the final lap. Bruce Hamilton won the Atlantic Challenge in his K-Hill Swift 014/Toyota.
From the drop of the green, a challenging course let the aspiring Norman show his skills as he opened up a 38-second lead in just a handful of laps to start the race, passing pole winner Grant on the opening lap.
Norman's lead was eliminated with a full-course caution, but as the track dried, he opened up the pace again, finding water to keep the tires cool, taking the victory in the timed raced.
"We got a great start and passed for the lead going up the esses," said Norman. "I tried to stay consistent and find water to cool the tires off. I slowed down to cool them off too. Thanks to K-Hill."
While Grant looked set for second place points for Polestar, Fleck charged in the late stages of the race, tracking down and passing Grant on the final lap to take second, his best Atlantic finish to date.
"Keith slowed down and we were able to pass him. I never knew if the track was fully dry, I was just trying to go a bit faster each lap," commented Fleck.
Grant settled for third in the No. 40 Polestar entry.
"It was changing conditions the whole session," said Grant, the 2015 Atlantic Champion. "It started to dry and the track got quicker, and then it rained again. I let up too much and Dudley got by."
In the Atlantic Challenge Bruce Hamilton led flag-to-flag for K-Hill for the win, ahead of Comprent's Bob Corliss, who won the previous round at Road Atlanta. In third place, Mark Sherwood took home trophy hardware in his sleek Ralt RT-41/Toyota after battling through clutch issues earlier in the weekend.
"Well it was a challenge today," said Hamilton. "The new (track) surface is just a ball, even in the wet."