Brands Hatch: Jonathan Summerton weekend summary

Brands Final Recap -Another podium for Summerton "Wow, what a fun week of activities! From arriving at the Regent Street A1GP Special event we never stopped all week." The Regent Street Pit Walk show was a great idea. It allowed fans ...

Brands Final Recap -Another podium for Summerton

"Wow, what a fun week of activities! From arriving at the Regent Street A1GP Special event we never stopped all week."

The Regent Street Pit Walk show was a great idea. It allowed fans the opportunity to meet the drivers and teams away from the track and become more involved with the series. It also showed them close up details of the car in a relaxed setting.

"I think all the drivers had fun as did the spectators. A1GP did an excellent job." After that several drivers were invited to play cricket with Kent. The ball is like a baseball but pitched instead of thrown. Despite Jonathan slipping on his rear end in the wet grass whilst making an enthusiastic run he commented it was fun. Team A1GP only just got pipped by one run.

Then it was down to business. Arriving at the world famous Brands Hatch, the Paddock was full of excitement for this, the final weekend of the season. All teams were busy calculating what they needed to move up the points against their competitors.

Friday was Jonathan's first time out which was the 3rd practice. He quickly focused on the best line to attack the track and after 26 laps Jonathan was in the top 3. In the final practice on Saturday the team tried different set ups with old and new tires and struggled to put a fast time in, but still in the top 10.

Qualifying session 1: We went out on old tires and the car performed reasonably well giving us a 5th, just 3 tenths off pole. Now was the time to put new rubber on and go for it. Every team was trying like crazy to improve as they all know Brands Hatch is a very difficult track to overtake on. Jonathan went out in the last 3 minutes of the session along with about 16 other drivers, each vying for position to obtain the perfect lap. Crossing the line after the hot lap each team went faster. GB got the pole by over half a second, then Jonathan brought the 'We The People' car round the last corner heading for the finish line. He was only 2 thousandths of a second off the pole position!

Having no rest the cars were soon out for qualifying for the Feature. Again, Jonathan put in a great lap on the old tires and finished 4th. Now to the Feature final qualifying, new tires and ready to go. Jonathan went out putting in a faster section 1 than the last session, then in sector 2, going into Sheen he unfortunately had an oversteer that caused him to go more on the curb. In a milli second the car spun onto the gravel trap and although Jonathan kept the car going his session was over. His 4th from the prior session finished as an 9th against the new tire times.

On Sunday the track was full of thousands of people milling around all waiting for the final 2 races of the season.

The Sprint race is a rolling start and as the cars came on to the main stretch Team GB decided when to accelerate. Jonathan had a great start but GB already had the advantage going into turn 1. From there, despite several attempts to position himself to overtake he couldn't finish it safely so he decided to get the points for 2nd. Behind him Team Ireland was pushing also to try and improve their position. All three cars were leaving the rest of the field but at the checkered Jonathan was 2nd, Ireland 3rd, and GB first.

The Sprint race is a rolling start and as the cars came on to the main stretch Team GB decided when to accelerate. Jonathan had a great start but GB already had the advantage going into turn 1. From there, despite several attempts to position himself to overtake he couldn't finish it safely so he decided to get the points for 2nd. Behind him Team Ireland was pushing also to try and improve their position. All three cars were leaving the rest of the field but at the checkered Jonathan was 2nd, Ireland 3rd, and GB first.

The Feature's standing start is extremely exciting. 22 cars jockeying for position as they head into turn 1. Jonathan, starting from the 5th row, was in the thick of it. Coming out of turn 1 he had lost a couple of positions but was still in the race. All the cars were still jockeying into each corner until they settled into a routine, but Jonathan managed to fight his way up to 8th before the pit stops started. There were desperate fights going on for position throughout the race, each driver just trying to gain one place at a time, but few managing to get the job done. By the 2nd pit stop Jonathan was in 7th place, however gearbox and electronic problems put him down to 16th after an engine cut out while in his pit box. He was now struggling with a car that would jump 2 gears at once from 2nd to 4th or from 3 to 5th. However, adjusting his driving, he still managed to finish the race in 12th. Jonathan was disappointed with the problems he had, yet encouraged, knowing the team and driver are now capable of winning the Championship in the future.

After the races Jonathan said, "Really the team had a good weekend. It's just that the results don't show it. I was hoping for another win, but at least two podiums this weekend and know we could have had them. I really appreciate all the effort from the team, as without them we would be nowhere. They have worked hard all year and we have now reached the point where we all know we can do it. I am excited about the new cars and Ferrari's involvement. I think already the series has one of the highest attendance figures around the world. I would like to thank the Team owner Rick Weidinger for all his help and also the team for doing such a great job this season. GO USA!"

-credit: jonathan summerton

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series A1GP
Drivers Jonathan Summerton , Rick Weidinger