Durban: Team USA Sunday notes

A1 Team USA 10th in Sprint at South Africa DURBAN, South Africa--Jonathan Summerton finished 10th in the Sprint race for A1 Team USA on Sunday in the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport at Durban, South Africa. Summerton was forced to retire from a...

A1 Team USA 10th in Sprint at South Africa

DURBAN, South Africa--Jonathan Summerton finished 10th in the Sprint race for A1 Team USA on Sunday in the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport at Durban, South Africa.

Summerton was forced to retire from a mechanical failure in the Feature and was 18th in the results.

"We certainly didn't get the results or to race as much as we wanted," Summerton said. "We managed to score one point, but we came here to score a lot more. It's disappointing the way the races went with all the crashes and the damper problem in the Feature with our car."

Summerton, of Kissimmee, Fla., survived in a Sprint race that had two multi-car crashes, two full-course cautions and a red flag, which stopped it early. It was scheduled for 15 laps and the results were classified after 11 on the 2.04-mile street circuit. Summerton started from 13th position, moved up one position from qualifying after India replaced its driver.

"We had a good start in the Sprint race, but there were two yellows and the race ended under a red," Summerton said. "On the last lap restart, we were hit by France again. He (Loic Duval) ran over our front wheel trying to pass us on the outside in Turn 1. It's the third time this year he's run into us without any chance of making the pass. At least it didn't take us out like before and, as it turned out with another crash on a different part of the circuit, the lap didn't count with the race ending under red. It still doesn't change things. He's a driver out of control."

Summerton lined up 16th for the Feature and was trapped in a multi-car pileup in the first turn of the first lap. He nudged into South Africa's Adrian Zaugg and the front wing on the A1 Team USA car was broken. Summerton pitted to have it replaced and returned to the track in 21st place, but on the lead lap.

On the restart, there was a crash involving six cars in Turn 1. Summerton drove through it and emerged in 14th. He climbed to 10th by lap 15, but A1 Team USA suffered a flat tire and was forced to make another unscheduled pit stop.

"We worked our way up in front of China before the scheduled pit stop (on lap 10) and just came out behind Italy," Summerton said. "The 'We the People' car was passing Italy when we had a right-rear tire puncture. We came in and got that changed, but I noticed it still felt weird. We came in again and checked the right rear and found the damper (shock absorber) was broken. We had to park it."

A1 Team USA completed 25 of the 41 completed laps in a race that had been scheduled for 48 and also ended with a red flag.

"We had a very difficult day," A1 Team USA owner Rick Weidinger said. "Except for the excellent pit stop the crew performed, that's about all you can say and move on to Mexico City. At least we won't have to worry about Loic Duval running into us there. France says he has schedule conflicts and won't be racing in any more A1GP races this season. He's run into us three times this season, cost us points and has never once apologized to Jonathan or our team."

A1 Team USA is in 16th place with 13 points this season in the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport with seven of 10 rounds complete. The next round is March 14-16 at Mexico City.

-credit: www.A1TEAMUSATV.com.

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About this article
Series A1GP
Drivers Adrian Zaugg , Loic Duval , Jonathan Summerton , Rick Weidinger