Mexico City: Team USA preview

A1 TEAM USA looks to repeat successful run at Mexico City 2nd last year, 1st in 2008? MEXICO CITY -- Will history repeat itself when A1 TEAM USA returns to the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez this weekend (March 14-16) for the eighth round of ...

A1 TEAM USA looks to repeat successful run at Mexico City

2nd last year, 1st in 2008?

MEXICO CITY -- Will history repeat itself when A1 TEAM USA returns to the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez this weekend (March 14-16) for the eighth round of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport?

Jonathan Summerton drove the "We the People" car to second place in the Feature and fifth in the Sprint last season at the 2.75-mile track located in the heart of Mexico City. It was A1 TEAM USA's best two-race results in its three seasons racing in A1GP and second equaled the highest finish.

"I'm really looking forward to this year, especially knowing how far the team has progressed during the season," Summerton said. "It's a fun track and has passing zones. I think it's a great track to race on and fits my driving style. You need to have a smooth throttle through the corners and we've developed a setup on the car that should be good for Mexico City."

Summerton, of Kissimmee, Fla., qualified eighth for the Sprint last season and avoided an early crash to move up to fifth in the 12-lap race. Under A1GP's previous format, it put the A1 TEAM USA driver fifth on the grid for the Feature.

In the standing start for the Feature, Summerton blasted into second behind Great Britain's Oliver Jarvis. When Jarvis pitted, A1 TEAM USA took the lead from laps nine through 14 before making its stop. Summerton came out second, four seconds behind Jarvis, and steadily ran him down, but ran out of laps. He was .690 of a second behind Jarvis at the checkered flag of the 45-lap race.

Summerton had the fastest lap, 1:27.841, in the Feature.

"The 'We the People' car felt great on the second set of tires and I was really able to push it," Summerton said. "It felt great to stand on the podium in A1GP for the first time."

Summerton's top finish this season is fifth in the Sprint at Australia and has scored points in the five rounds he's driven for A1 TEAM USA. Summerton also has five top-10 qualifying runs in 2007-08.

The team will be trying to rebound from the luckless last round in South Africa. Summerton was 10th in the Sprint, but fell out with a broken shock in the Feature and finished 18th.

"We were in the same position after last year at Durban," Summerton said. "We came back strong. We can do the same thing this year."

A1 TEAM USA owner Rick Weidinger views Mexico City as an opportunity to regain momentum for the rest of the season.

"We've been very competitive in the last four rounds, but we've had some unfortunate circumstances ruin promising results in the last two," Weidinger said. "We have a team capable of running and finishing in the top five and returning to Mexico City could be the impetus for a very strong run in the home stretch to the season."

Summerton will have a one-hour practice Friday and a one-hour practice Saturday to prepare for qualifying and the races. Qualifying is Saturday and the 20-minute Sprint and 70-minute Feature races are Sunday.

-credit: usa

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About this article
Series A1GP
Drivers Oliver Jarvis , Jonathan Summerton , Rick Weidinger