Shanghai: Team USA preview

Summerton to drive for A1 TEAM USA in Shanghai following podium in Mexico City A1 TEAM USA tied in Ninth Place Washington, D.C.-This week, A1 TEAM USA returns to Shanghai for the tenth race of the A1GP season-and the second in China-on April 15,...

Summerton to drive for A1 TEAM USA in Shanghai following podium in Mexico City A1 TEAM USA tied in Ninth Place

Washington, D.C.-This week, A1 TEAM USA returns to Shanghai for the tenth race of the A1GP season-and the second in China-on April 15, 2007. Coming off a thrilling second place finish in Mexico City, Jonathan Summerton will be returning as A1 TEAM USA's driver. This will be the sixth racing event and the third feature race for Jonathan in the "We the People" car for A1 TEAM USA.

In Mexico City on March 25th, 2007, Summerton produced the drive of his life, netting second place in the Feature Race, along with the fastest lap. After a blazing start from 5th position, the 18-year-old jumped to second by the first corner and then engaged in a nail biting shootout with Team Great Britain to the end. Summerton finished just .6 seconds behind the British driver, scoring A1 TEAM USA's second podium of the season.

Summerton also represented A1 TEAM USA as the feature driver in Durban, South Africa and the rookie driver in The Netherlands, the Czech Republic, and Australia earlier this season. In October, he won the final F3 Euro Series Race at Hockenheim Circuit in Germany.

The Shanghai International Circuit is smooth and wide, and includes the fastest straightaway on the tour, at a length of 3600ft. The "We the People" car topped out at 184mph there in race conditions last year. With 14 turns, and two long straight-aways, there are several passing opportunities at this 3.38 mile race track. There are also opportunities to gain a tactical advantage, as bad weather can intervene at any time.

TEAM USA arrives at the track this week with a new chassis and a new engine, both fresh from the 2nd place finish in Mexico City. The car is ready to race, and Summerton can't wait to get back behind the wheel. Burger King will again be prominent on the A1 TEAM USA car.

"I cannot wait for the race in China, and it will be really exciting to see all of the crowds," said Summerton. "The team is really confident, and I am looking forward to the week. I hope I can put the "We the People" back on the podium."

"Ninth place and climbing is what the team is focused on now. Coming off that fantastic podium finish in Mexico City, A1 TEAM USA has collected thirty-five championship points and is currently tied in ninth place out of a grid of 22 cars," said A1 TEAM USA owner Rick Weidinger. "Our team is working well together and we have the ambition, quiet confidence and momentum to finish in the top five in the championship points for this season. Top five will not be easy but we are all willing to put the mind share, hard work and energy into making it happen. We have Jonathan on a specific physical training program now and the crew continues to practice pit stops and review racing data. It's both exciting and impressive-so we are expecting great things out of this second A1GP race in China."

The A1GP Race in Shanghai begins Friday, April 13th with a rookie practice which Jonathan will participate in, followed by a one-hour open practice. There is a one-hour practice on Saturday, April 14th prior to qualifying which is comprised of four 15-minute sessions with the best two laps for each driver establishing the grid. The week will culminate on Sunday, April 15th with the 20-minute Sprint Race in the morning and the 70-minute Feature Race in the afternoon.

The A1GP race in Shanghai can be seen in the USA, Canada, and Mexico on Wednesday, April 18th at 4PM on the Speed Channel.

A1 TEAM USA is tied with A1 Team Mexico for ninth place in A1GP standings with 35 points. There are two remaining races in the 2006/2007 A1 GP Season: Shanghai (4/15) and London (4/29).

-credit: team usa

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About this article
Series A1GP
Drivers Jonathan Summerton , Rick Weidinger