Summerton on a Mission Millville was the venue for this weekend's Mazda Atlantic Championship presented by Cooper Tires at New Jersey Motorsports Park. Going into the weekend Jonathan was in P4 of the championship points but he was determined...
Summerton on a Mission
Millville was the venue for this weekend's Mazda Atlantic Championship presented by Cooper Tires at New Jersey Motorsports Park. Going into the weekend Jonathan was in P4 of the championship points but he was determined that this was going to change. It did! He leaves Millville in 2nd place in the championship.
From the first practice Jonathan showed the competition his speed, with only occasions when others were faster. The initial session was canceled due to a car having an engine blow and throwing oil over the trackso it was extended to allow drivers additional time. With minutes to go, Jonathan went out to put down his fast lap ending with 3rd fastest time.
Qualifying on Friday afternoon
It was to become a very interesting qualifying for race 1. Starting off in the dry Jonathan was soon in P1, a position he held throughout most of the session. When the rain came some teams decided to go out and learn a wet line. As Jonathan was fastest the team decided to wait until someone came within 5 seconds of his time, with drivers each vying for space at the right time so they could put a fast one in. With about 5 minutes to go Jonathan went out again to knock some more time off, and as the flag waived Jonathan ensured his pole position with a 1.11.417 run, 2/10ths faster than 2nd place.
Qualifying for the second race went well for the number 19 car sponsored by Barker Specialties, an appareland award company and Manny.Erlich@GellerGroup.com a leading investment retirement company. Jonathan was constantly in the top 5 and in the closing minutes put down his fast lap as the checkered waved, unfortunately just shy of the pole position.
The heat was on, both on the track and the weather giving New Jersey a heat wave. As the green flag waved Jonathan got a great start and led the race from start to finish, giving Jonathan his third victory in the series and also giving Genoa their first victory since 1994. In doing so Jonathan also set a new lap record for the track of 1 min. 11.418sec. "I got a great start, although the track was a lot slippier than we expected. It was crazy and a bit hairy at times. Genoa gave me a great car and I never dropped a wheel or made a mistake," said Jonathan. Thomas Knapp, owner of Team Genoa, added, "Jonathan ran an excellent race."
Starting from 2nd Jonathan was off to a good start and tried to gain the first position going into turn one, but was unable to overtake Simona who was in the lead. After that he kept the pressure on throughout the race in case she made a mistake. Simona stayed clean so Jonathan was unable to overtake her and had to be content with a comfortable 2nd place.
Looking back on the weekend Jonathan commented," I had a great weekend for which I am truly grateful to Genoa Racing Team, Barker Specialties and the Geller Group. Hopefully I can find some sponsors to continue racing for the rest of the season, and bring home the Championship. The Atlantic series is great racing and the drivers are fun.
Jonathan hopes his next Atlantic race is at Lime Rock Park, Connecticut, July 16th/17th