Road Atlanta race sends title challenge to Laguna

Jonathan Summerton came to Road Atlanta aiming to add to his points tally at the penultimate round on the Atlantic Championship 2009 calendar. The tight contest for this year's title is going down to the wire between three drivers: Simona De ...

Jonathan Summerton came to Road Atlanta aiming to add to his points tally at the penultimate round on the Atlantic Championship 2009 calendar.

The tight contest for this year's title is going down to the wire between three drivers: Simona De Silvestro, John Edwards and Summerton.

De Silvestro leapt into second place from the series standing start as the filed headed into the first turn at the Road Atlanta circuit. She started third but bypassed Edwards by clinging to the rear of pole sitter Summerton.

"I was really focused on the start," said Silvestro who added that she kept hearing the words from her team "no mistakes, no mistakes and then I made one". Her next comment was she was going to tell them not to do that again, with a smile.

The three settled down into a formation with Summerton having the edge, De Silvestro looking but not seeing any opportunity and Edwards trying to makeup the loss of the position at the start.

However, Edwards had a second concern to contend with. De Silvestro's Team Stargate Worlds teammate for this race, Jonathan Bomarito, was fourth.

Bomarito returned to the series to take the seat held by Frankie Muniz and used his experience to aid the Swiss racer in her goal to the take the championship.

The top two positions did not change but just as Edwards had a chance to pass De Silvestro, the only full course yellow came out on lap 18 for Greg Mansell off at Turn 7.

"I kept trying to draft with Silvestro," Edwards said after admitting he had a bad start. "The one time I was able to attempt a pass, I had to back off.

The field went back to green but no changes occurred in the top four. Summerton accomplished what he came to do -- added points for his championship hunt -- with a back-to-back victory and his fourth of the season.

De Silvestro ended second today but she also has notched four wins this year.

Edwards in his Newman Wachs Racing Atlantic Swift has three wins, just one below his teammate Summerton.

De Silvestro's point lead is diminishing as she now holds 176 which is now a seven point lead over Summerton. He, in turn, overtook his teammate Edwards for second in the standings. Summerton now has 169 and Edwards at 166.

"The car has been getting better and better and it is possible to win at Laguna," Summerton said.

Silvestro and her two rivals will settle the Atlantic Championship title on Oct. 11 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

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About this article
Series Atlantic
Drivers Jonathan Bomarito , Jonathan Summerton , John Edwards , Frankie Muniz