Shanghai: Team USA Saturday notes

A1 TEAM USA on front row for Feature race, 3rd row for Sprint at Shanghai SHANGHAI, China--Jonathan Summerton qualified A1 TEAM USA in second starting position for the Feature race and sixth for the Sprint for the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport on...

A1 TEAM USA on front row for Feature race, 3rd row for Sprint at Shanghai

SHANGHAI, China--Jonathan Summerton qualified A1 TEAM USA in second starting position for the Feature race and sixth for the Sprint for the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport on Saturday at Shanghai International Circuit.

"It's a great feeling to be starting on the front row for A1 TEAM USA in the Feature," Summerton said. "We made some changes before Sprint qualifying that improved the balance of the 'We the People' car and we were sixth. Leon Gutfreund, our race engineer, tweaked the setup a little more for the Feature and made the car even better. We had our fastest lap of the weekend in the second segment of Feature qualifying.

"We came here to at least stand on the podium and to challenge for wins and we're in position to do that in both races."

Summerton had a best lap of 1:34.626 in qualifying for the feature, .396 of a second faster than No. 3 Filipe Albuquerque of Portugal, on the 2.9-mile circuit. The 19-year-old from Kissimmee, Fla., ran 1:34.791 in Sprint qualifying.

"We timed our runs really well," Summerton said. "We were patient and waited for the fast cars towards the end of the sessions. We were able to slot in behind (pole winner) Neel Jani (Switzerland) by design and used him as a rabbit. He was faster in the first two segments, but on the final (Feature) run, we were slightly quicker in the final third of the track."

Sunday's Feature race will be the second time A1 TEAM USA has started on the front row. Under a different format, Scott Speed qualified second at Germany's Lausitzring in 2005.

Summerton's previous top performances in qualifying were third for the Sprint at Mexico City three weeks ago and third for the Sprint at Shanghai last season.

"We're very happy to be starting on the front row for the Feature and sixth for the Sprint was a solid effort," A1 TEAM USA Holdings owner Rick Weidinger said. "The team has made great strides forward this season and we've become one of the strongest teams in A1GP. We want to win, of course, but our focus is on high finishes and scoring points consistently. Leon (Gutfreund, A1 TEAM USA race engineer) has been with me for almost five years now and I have never been more proud of how he reacted and engineered the 'We the People' car to the Feature front row this weekend..

"We're 13th in the championship and we want to move up as far as possible. We're 16 points behind (10th-place China) and 33 behind (ninth-place) Canada and it's possible for us to catch and pass both of them."

-credit: team usa

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About this article
Series A1GP
Drivers Scott Speed , Neel Jani , Filipe Albuquerque , Jonathan Summerton , Rick Weidinger