Jonathan Summerton set the 4th fastest lap out of the 6 heats with 36 of the top drivers from all over the world competing for the ultimate title. In the final Jonathan was on his way to a top five finish ,when, after the safety car left an...
Jonathan Summerton set the 4th fastest lap out of the 6 heats with 36 of the top drivers from all over the world competing for the ultimate title. In the final Jonathan was on his way to a top five finish ,when, after the safety car left an illegal restart by the leader caused the pack to have to slow and thus several nose to tail contacts putting Jonathan out of the race...
Very friendly people, a fantastic track and good organization by BMW made the World Formula BMW Finals fun for all.
Starting with the first practice Jonathan was on the pace with his Muecke prepared car. He was 5th fastest out of the first group, a pace he held on to as the speeds increased.
Going into qualifying the team made several changes. However, Jonathan was left short of fuel and only managed 3 hot laps out of a possible 17-20 causing him to be denied the opportunity to improve on his times, finishing qualifying a respectable 5th fastest.
Next the event went to a series of 3 heats for each group thereby allowing each driver to compete against all his fellow competitors.
Heat 1: Jonathan had a great run and pushed his way through from 5th up to 3rd place.
Heat 2: Jonathan worked his way up again to 3rd. However, going into turn two was hit by another car forcing him off track and breaking his front wing. With wing hanging loosely and less down force at the front he still managed to work his way from last back up to 11th.
Heat 3: Another great run from Jonathan as he raced up a few spots after having an incident at the beginning finishing in 6th in what was probably the strongest and toughest heat race of the event.
The heats decided the start position for the Pre Final and placed Jonathan 11th on the grid. From the start racing was extremely competitive with wheel to wheel and car to car action. Having worked his way up to 5th going into turn one on lap 6, Jonathan was mounted by a skidding car, bending and breaking his rear wing. Once he got going again he managed to finish 10th.
Final race: A great start allowed Jonathan to move up to 9th by the end of the first lap. As the race progressed the leaders managed to stay clean but further back in the pack cars were crashing left and right. Eventually the safety car was brought on track for several laps while the debris was cleared. At this point Jonathan was up to 8th. On the restart the lead car set off on the approach to the start finish line. However, he slowed and started to swerve prior to the start causing a major back up of "the train" and causing several nose tail touches, one of which caused Jonathan to hit another car which placed his car out of the race. The illegal move also cost the driver his win after stewards agreed and assessed a penalty of 10 seconds against him.
In conclusion, although he didn't finish Jonathan said he felt he could have attained a top five finish, top American with the times, car, and his position when taken out. "I am glad I had this great opportunity to race at the BMW World Finals as it was really fun and exciting. BMW did a great job at putting this event on and made it a well worth while experience, and would like to thank BMW for all that they did."
Now, unfortunately, is the time for a few months without racing before commencing testing for the Formula 3 Euroseries in 2006. As Jonathan said, "I am looking forward to a great season next year in the Formula 3 Euroseries."