Taupo: Team USA Saturday notes

A1 TEAM USA's Summerton to start 6th in Sprint, 10th in Feature at Taupo TAUPO, New Zealand -- Jonathan Summerton qualified A1 TEAM USA in a season-best sixth position for the Sprint and 10th for the Feature on Saturday at the A1GP World Cup of...

A1 TEAM USA's Summerton to start 6th in Sprint, 10th in Feature at Taupo

TAUPO, New Zealand -- Jonathan Summerton qualified A1 TEAM USA in a season-best sixth position for the Sprint and 10th for the Feature on Saturday at the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport at Taupo, New Zealand.

"We continue to make inroads in a very competitive series where every team has the same equipment," Summerton said. "We wanted to be higher on the grid for both races, but this is our best overall performance in qualifying this year with two top-10s and we're pleased about that. We had a good run in Sprint qualifying. The 'We the People' car was great in Feature qualifying, but Pakistan car went off in front of us and put dirt on the track. It cost us a few tenths (of a second) easily and those would have moved us up the grid. The car was capable of a top-three."

Summerton ran 1:16.036 in Sprint qualifying on the 2.17-mile circuit. The 19-year-old from Kissimmee, Fla., ran 1:15.898 in Feature qualifying. Summerton's previous best qualifying run was in the last round at Zhuhai, China, seventh for the Feature.

"We're especially happy to be closer to the front for the Sprint," Summerton said. "With only 20 minutes to race, you don't have much time to move up. The Feature is much longer (70 minutes) and has two mandatory pit stops. If you have a good, consistently fast car over a long run and good pit stops, you can gain plenty of positions.

"I'm confident we have a fast car for the races Sunday and with our starting spots, we can score some points."

Summerton was 11th at 1:15.999 in the practice prior to qualifying Saturday. He completed 30 laps.

"Our progress is there in black and white on the timing sheets," A1 TEAM USA owner Rick Weidinger said. "We've been more competitive in each successive round. We need to continue to strive to improve and take that next step to top-five finishes."

The Sprint starts at 11 a.m. local time, 5 p.m. Saturday EST, and the Feature begins at 3 p.m., 9 p.m. EST.

-credit: a1teamusatv.com

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Series A1GP
Drivers Jonathan Summerton , Rick Weidinger