Road Atlanta: Jonathan Summerton race report

Summerton sets new track record for the Atlantic Championship Series at the final event at Road Atlanta Georgia placing his Newman Wachs car on the pole for the final race. Summerton was fastest out of the gate and continued to be throughout ...

Summerton sets new track record for the Atlantic Championship Series at the final event at Road Atlanta Georgia placing his Newman Wachs car on the pole for the final race.

Summerton was fastest out of the gate and continued to be throughout the practices and qualifying.

At the start of the race he had some engine problems causing him to lose the lead and drop back into third position. Jonathan was comfortable in this position as he knew that if he finished in this place he would win the championship and become the rookie of the year. Up ahead Niemela knew he could win if he slowed Summerton down so other cars could catch and hopefully overtake him. This was the plan; every time Summerton challenged Neimela he would block and accelerate. Summerton was caught by Hildebrand who challenged him going into turn 1. Summerton, however, didn't back down and Hildebrand entered the corner too tight causing his exit to be off line and so he went to the tires. Despite him getting going again, for some reason a full course yellow and the safety car was deployed. This caused the pack to tighten with Cameron, followed by Niemela,then Summerton and La Coix behind him. As they went green, with less than 5 minutes to go, Cameron was slow, so Niemela got the jump on him and had taken him before the entry to turn 1. Summerton was on him and overtook him going up the hill but Cameron didn't give and went into a spin on turn 2 turning into Summerton and ending both their races. Niemela went on to win the race still under the safety car.

A truly disappointing end to a great and successful season for Summerton in his rookie year. Afterwards a disappointed Jonathan said, "It was really disappointing that the safety car was even deployed when there was no car off the track after 20 or so seconds. We were content and just waiting for a chance to overtake Marcus. I tried on the prior lap, and in fact got alongside but he closed the door touching me. I was better finishing there than either or both of us going out, and then Dane coming into me was not called for."

"At least I have still finished the year in 3rd place and 2nd in the rookie. The main point is NEWMAN WACHS did an outstanding job for me. I appreciate more than words can say the help Eddie and his wife sponsoring me so I could race, Don Halliday and the team giving me great car to race with. Also, I am very grateful to CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN, STARGATE WORLDS, the new Video game which is an awesome computer game, SPARCO for my racing gear, ARAI for my helmet, SMART race paint for painting my helmets which look fantastic, NEBRASKA FURNITURE MART for their support and TANGLED SPIDER for my website www.JonathanSummerton.com and finally ANDREONI for my business cards that are really cool.

-credit: jonathansummerton.com

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About this article
Series Atlantic
Drivers Jonathan Summerton