Brands Hatch: Team USA Saturday notes

A1 TEAM USA on front row for Sprint at Brands Hatch KENT, England-Jonathan Summerton qualified A1 TEAM USA on the front row Saturday for the Sprint race for the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport at Brands Hatch. Summerton will start from the fifth...

A1 TEAM USA on front row for Sprint at Brands Hatch

KENT, England-Jonathan Summerton qualified A1 TEAM USA on the front row Saturday for the Sprint race for the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport at Brands Hatch.

Summerton will start from the fifth row for the Feature race Sunday in the 10th and final round of the A1GP season.

"I'm really happy with the 'We the People' car," Summerton said. "I was hoping for a pole in Sprint qualifying and you can't come much closer, but it's a great starting position. There usually isn't much overtaking in the Sprint race."

The 20-year-old from Kissimmee, Fla., was .002 of a second slower than pole winner Robbie Kerr of Great Britain, driving around Brands' 2.6-mile Grand Prix circuit in 1:14.426 for Sunday's 20-minute Sprint.

Summerton ran a lap of 1:15.398 on worn tires in the first qualifying session for Sunday's 70-minute Feature. He was fourth going into the second session and had the team had saved, like many other teams, its last set of new tires. In A1GP, teams are limited to five sets of new tires per weekend and are issued two sets for the four qualifying sessions.

With the tires at their peak for only one lap, Summerton was on his attempt to start at the front and spun late in the lap. The lap on used tires from the first session held up for ninth fastest.

"We struggled with some understeer in the Feature qualifying," Summerton said. "I got a little loose in Turn 9 and got up on the curb a little and it put a wheel into the grass. I spun. I'm happy that our lap on old tires held up for eighth, but disappointed we lost that lap. I believe it would have put us in the top two again."

A1 TEAM USA (44 points) goes into the final two races of the season trailing Portugal (50) for 10th place by six points. China (46), Brazil (44) and India (40) are also in contention for 10th in the championship.

"We're going for a win and a podium," Summerton said. "How we finish in the Sprint will determine how aggressive we are in the Feature. We want to be in the top-10 in the championship and we don't want to throw that away if we get in a position to do it. It's going to be a hard battle in the Feature coming from ninth, but we know we've got a fast car, the team is good and I'm sure we'll have a good race car."

A1 TEAM USA qualified on the front row for the second straight round. Summerton was second for the Feature at Shanghai, China, and won the race.

"We've done an outstanding job this weekend with the exception of Jonathan's spin in Feature qualifying," A1 TEAM USA Holdings owner Rick Weidinger said. "We are in a position to take 10th in the championship and take some high horsepower momentum into next season. We've developed into a top team and we want to show that on the final day of the season."

-credit: usa

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About this article
Series A1GP
Drivers Robbie Kerr , Jonathan Summerton