Eastern Creek: Team USA Friday report

A1 Team USA's Summerton P1 in Rookie Session "We the People" car sees success as it prepares for weekend Eastern Creek, Australia-A1 Team USA's visit to Australia got off to a great start Friday. On a drying track, A1 Team USA Rookie...

A1 Team USA's Summerton P1 in Rookie Session
"We the People" car sees success as it prepares for weekend

Eastern Creek, Australia-A1 Team USA's visit to Australia got off to a great start Friday. On a drying track, A1 Team USA Rookie Driver Jonathan Summerton picked his way through the puddles to post fastest time by 0.34 of a second.

The first half of the Rookie Practice saw a wet track, and continuing rain. The team made cautious progress, taking the opportunity to break in new brakes. As the track dried, Summerton began to unleash the "We the People" car, improving his time at every turn and setting the fastest lap of the session as he took the checkered flag posting the best time among eighteen rookie drivers of 1:36.569.

"It was fun out there," said Summerton. "It was my first time in the wet with over 500 horsepower. It felt amazing to finish on top of the time sheets."

"We are so proud of Jonathan," said A1 Team USA owner Rick Weidinger. "We have made the commitment to develop Jonathan during several A1 GP races this year and it's really paying off. Additionally, his communication and feedback to the Team are very helpful."

Following the rookie practice, the mechanics set to work on the car. In the two hour break between sessions, they made two major changes, adjusting the pedals and seat so that Team USA veteran driver Phil Giebler could take over. They also moved from a wet setup to a full dry as the sun dried the Eastern Creek track. The second session was dry and with the dry track came high tire wear. The top 10 times were set in the first 7 minutes of the session. Giebler finished with the 10th fastest lap, a 1:20.337.

"It was quite a challenging track to figure out and especially with our dry tires because we have to get the time in our first 2-3 laps," said Giebler. "That said, I got up to speed very quickly, posting my best lap on my second flying lap. The tires went off really quickly it's going to make for an interesting race if it stays dry the rest of the weekend."

"This afternoon, we learned a lot for the rest of the weekend," said Weidinger of Phil's practice session. "We hope to improve tomorrow for qualifying as we realize we have a good car for the race."

The weekend's racing action for A1 Team USA continues on Saturday, February 3rd with the final practice and qualifying for the Sprint race. The week will culminate on Sunday, February 4th with the 20-minute Sprint Race in the morning and the 70-minute Feature Race in the afternoon.

The A1GP race in Australia can be seen in the USA, Canada and Mexico on Wednesday, February 7th at 4 PM on the Speed Channel.

-credit: team usa

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About this article
Series A1GP
Drivers Phil Giebler , Rick Weidinger