Portante (left) and Grillo (right)Salem, NH – Peter Portante and Jenna Grillo are moving up the Formula Race Promotions ladder, and will race in the Atlantic Championship Series opening weekend at VIR, April 27-30, in a pair of K-Hill Motorsports Swift 016/Mazdas.

2016 Atlantic Champion Ryan Norman has moved up too, joining the Andretti Indy Lights program, while 2012 Champion David Grant and 2015 Champion Keith Grant are back for full-season runs with Polestar Racing Group in Atlantic in what is shaping up to be an extremely competitive field.

Portante is coming off a strong season in F1600 Championship Series competition, where the American was runner-up in the 21-race Championship.

For Portante, it’s essentially the first time in the Atlantic car, having only driven one during a filming day.

“From today on, every second is devoted to being prepared to compete at VIR. With the deal with K-Hill coming together late, the first time I will sit in the car will be for Practice 1,” said Portante.

“ I will need to get up to speed quickly if I want to compete for wins. Although winning is never easy, I have the best people in the paddock behind me to get me up to speed in fantastic equipment,” he added.

Grillo moves up from the F2000 Championship Series, where she had a strong partial season campaign in 2016. She had an encouraging weekend at VIR earlier in April during a regional event, where she took home a win and a third place finish, respectively.

“The level of competition is usually a bit higher at the pro races so I am extremely excited for the challenge, and am hoping that I can keep the momentum going from the last two races,” Grillo said. “Being that this will only be my third weekend ever in a Formula Atlantic, I’m certainly still getting used to the car. The transition from F2000s to Atlantics wasn't too difficult. The main difference between the F2000 and the Formula Atlantic is the added power and downforce.

“The Atlantic is also quite a bit more physical to drive, so I kicked up my training in the gym starting right after the last race of the season, and it's certainly helping my performance. I absolutely love the Atlantic, and maybe I can even follow in Ryan Norman’s path and jump right to Indy Lights,” Grillo noted.