Durban: Team USA Friday report

A1 TEAM USA slowed by red flags in Friday Practice Sessions DURBAN, South Africa-The hot Durban sun made sure the night's rain didn't play a factor in Friday's practice sessions for the eighth race of the A1GP season. However, the...

A1 TEAM USA slowed by red flags in Friday Practice Sessions

DURBAN, South Africa-The hot Durban sun made sure the night's rain didn't play a factor in Friday's practice sessions for the eighth race of the A1GP season. However, the tight confines of the Durban Street Circuit which leave little margin for error made a marked impact as the day was punctuated by red flags.

A1 TEAM USA's new feature driver, Jonathan Summerton, finished the first part of the rookie session in 4th place with a 1:21.557, despite an incident in which the car bottomed hard over a series of bumps and took off both the front wing end-plates. In the second portion of the rookie practice, Summerton was denied a top 3 result after a red flag forced him to abandon his flying lap. 7th place was the eventual result on 1:21.097.

Several cars again found the wall in Practice 2, bringing out a number of red flags.

Summerton continued to work through mechanical and aerodynamic changes, without putting so much as a scratch on the car. The afternoon session was cut short, though, when a small section of track kerbing at turn 7 began to break up. The organizers are currently in the process of repairing the area and foresee no further problems over the weekend. As a result, TEAM USA ended in 15th place during the second practice session with a 1:20.288.

"The track is pretty slick and bumpier than I expected," said Summerton. "The Rookie session went well. It was a pity about the red flag that cost me my best time. I think missing the red flags might be a key for qualifying. The team has made me very comfortable in the car, and I'm happy I can drive a race distance with no problems on Sunday. Overall it was a very productive day. We got through a lot of changes. I'm looking forward to qualifying tomorrow."

"Motor racing is mostly a game of patience", comments A1 TEAM USA Owner Rick Weidinger. "With Jonathan, our perspective is that every lap in the We The People car is additional seat time that we can continue to improve upon until we revisit the podium. Long term gains take patience."

The weekend's racing action for A1 TEAM USA continues on Saturday, February 24th with the final practice and qualifying for the Sprint race. The week will culminate on Sunday, February 25th with the 20-minute Sprint Race in the morning and the 70-minute Feature Race in the afternoon.

A1 TEAM USA currently holds the 12th place in A1GP standings with 24 points.

The A1GP race in South Africa can be seen in the USA, Canada, and Mexico on Wednesday, February 28th at 4PM on the Speed Channel.

-credit: usa

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About this article
Series A1GP
Drivers Jonathan Summerton , Rick Weidinger