Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Joseph Burke Moves to Open Class for 2011

Atlanta, Georgia. January, 23, 2011 - Embarking on their second season in the Rally America National Championship, Joseph Burke and co-driver Alex Kihurani look to improve on their impressive 2010 results. Although the team only contested five of the six rounds of the series, Burke still managed to capture the Rally America Rookie of the Year honors. For 2011, Burke will make the move up to the open class as he contests all six rounds of the Rally America Championship. Burke will be on the line in a Mitsubishi during the first round this week at Sno*Drift.
Team Manager Seamus Burke commented on the move, “We saw some limitations in 2010 running in the SP class.  After evaluating the options and to give Joseph the opportunity for a podium it was better to have him step to an open class car.”
Joseph had the opportunity to run an open class Kearney Motorsports Subaru in 2008, 2009 and 2010. He finished an impressive second overall at International Rally New York 2008 and captured an overall victory at Black River Stages in the same year.
Looking towards Sno*Drift, the team’s main goal is to be there at the finish. “Although we would like very much to stay within the top five at Sno*Drift, I am going into this rally with the understanding of just how tough the conditions can be,” explains Joseph.  “This will just be my second rally on snow and ice so I will depend heavily on my co-driver and team manager for direction.”

Burke’s co driver Alex Kihurani and his father and team manager Seamus Burke have competed at Sno*Drift on multiple occasions, with Seamus getting to the podium several times.
“It’s kind of hard to explain, but slow is fast at Sno*Drift,” explains the senior Burke.  “When it’s icy there is a lot of dodgy off-camber stuff in there.  We will have to gauge the conditions when we get there and decide a plan from there.”  Seamus goes on to say, “From watching some of the in car video I am really pleased with the chemistry that Joseph and Alex have developed in the car.  To be in the hunt for a podium these days you need to be 100% committed to the notes.”
Joseph also had a chance to try some European RallyCross in the fall of 2010, “I really enjoyed the tight racing, but I have to say that I am really looking forward to getting back out onto the stages.”
The team has been working hard to secure some new sponsorship for 2011 and beyond and is currently working with some exciting opportunities. “For Sno*Drift  we are again teaming up with Team MS-Racing for Research and Awareness of Multiple Sclerosis as well as our sponsors Atlanta Activewear and Rally World News,” commented Burke.

Photos/©Neil McDaid