St. Pete: Jonathan Summerton race report

Despite finishing 8th in an action packed race Jonathan Summerton had to be the driver of the race. He drove his Walker Racing, Dean Knight, SiM1GP.com car in an action packed event. Starting from 8th after struggling in the two practice and ...

Despite finishing 8th in an action packed race Jonathan Summerton had to be the driver of the race. He drove his Walker Racing, Dean Knight, SiM1GP.com car in an action packed event.

Starting from 8th after struggling in the two practice and qualifying sessions to find the set up with his new team and new to Indy Lights' engineer, Jonathan again became the talk of the paddock. As the race started in darkening skies due to a tropical storm coming into the beautiful town of St. Petersburg everyone was on slicks. In turn one, first time pole sitter James Hinchcliffe, was hit by Majors in an over anxious move causing him to collide.

Jonathan was already on the move and by the exit of turn 4 he was up to 3rd place. With a safety car period and the rain starting to fall the team decided to have Jonathan pit under the yellow with the thought that rain was going to continue. Jonathan pitted and was fitted with his Firestone Firehawk rain tires getting back out without losing a lap, catching the field in last place but definitely positioned to take the lead when the other cars pitted to change their tires. The big problem that caused this move not to work was a lap later the race was RED FLAGGED for whatever reason. The rain was still very light and there wasn't any lightning. So, all the cars were pulled into pit lane where the cars were allowed to be worked on to change not only tires but set up as well.

Five minutes later the race went green again and Jonathan made his move up the field. Through the next 25 minutes he picked off drivers as they made mistakes or crashed out till several laps from the end he was up to 4th place. As the rainfall continued to become heavier and Jonathan decided he would be patient and take fourth unless one of the cars in front would make a mistake. Then, as he came into the final chicane on the final lap with poor visibility he hit a pool of water which caused him to aquaplane and spin. He partially controlled the spin and avoided contactbut in doing so lost 4 places but kept going to cross the line in 8th.

When he came into the pits Jonathan was disappointed firstly that the Red Flag was given when there was so little rain and no rain incidents, commenting, " Walker's strategy was perfect and we definitely could have won the race had all the teams come in to change tires and not had the red. Having said that he added, "We finally had a decent car, although we weren'tsetupfor the rain. I knew I couldn't pass Stefan Wilson for third unless he made a mistake. So, there I was just waiting behind in his spray when I hit the new puddle that I couldn't see and what a spin. Luckily I didn't hit the wall and I kept the car running. I think I had a pretty good run and would like to thank my sponsors SiM1GP.com, Tangled Spyder Web Design, Sparco, Andreoni and Smart Race Paint. Hopefully we can find sponsors so we can run the rest of the season."

-source: onathanSummerton.com

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About this article
Series Indy Lights
Drivers James Hinchcliffe , Jonathan Summerton , Stefan Wilson