Shanghai: Team USA race report

Great run ends in disappointment USA brings home two championship points but finds trouble in feature SHANGHAI,China-A1 TEAM USA raced up front in both the sprint and feature races today, yet left the circuit with only...

                      Great run ends in disappointment

USA brings home two championship points but finds trouble in feature

SHANGHAI,China-A1 TEAM USA raced up front in both the sprint and feature races today, yet left the circuit with only two points for their hard work.

Rookie driver Jonathan Summerton made a good start in the ten lap Sprint Race, holding 3rd uncontested into the first corner. The flying German Nico Hulkenberg tracked down the We The People car, and made a diving pass to the inside. Summerton held firm, and repassed at the next corner. However it was Hulkenberg who ultimately took the spot, and was followed through by Team Switzerland. Summerton fought hard throughout the race, and finished 5th, taking two championship points.

"I had a good start, followed by a small problem," said Summerton following the Sprint Race. "We ended up fighting hard and holding on to 5th."

Starting 3rd in the feature, Summerton repeated his great standing start as in Mexico. He was in 4th place at the first corner. After two safety car incidents, the German car pitted for tires. The We The People car took this opportunity to lay down some flying laps before pitting at the end of lap 16. A great stop by the TEAM USA crew saw Summerton emerge from the pits in 3rd place, a spot which he held firmly until lap 25. Then, in traversing the chicane at turn 5, Summerton edged a wheel onto the grass, and lost control. The car pirouetted into the gravel. It was undamaged, but was buried too deeply to rejoin the circuit, ending a great run for the We The People car.

"We had a good start, and gained a spot before the Safety Car came out-- that was to our advantage," said Summerton. "I was running quick lap times. That coupled with a great pit stop put us into 3rd position. I was holding firm until lap 25. I just touched the curb in the second part of the chicane as I put the throttle on. This threw me into a spin in turn six, and I ended up in the gravel."

"It was a tough way to end a great week, but we are pleased to be walking away in ninth place with two championship points as we go into the final race of the season," said A1 TEAM USA owner Rick Weidinger. "What happened to TEAM USA today on lap 25 is all part of motorsports. As an owner you learn quickly to expect the unexpected. We were running so well with a fantastic pit stop that moved us up one position. A short time later we were in the gravel. Jonathan continues to learn through these experiences. We will move this result behind us quickly and focus totally on Brands Hatch. There is still opportunity to move up in the championship points. We congratulate Team Germany on winning the championship this year-a job well done."

-credit: team usa

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About this article
Series A1GP
Drivers Jonathan Summerton , Rick Weidinger