Summerton Makes his Name Sprint Race Starting his first ever A1 GP race weekend as race driver 18 year old Florida resident Jonathan Summerton continued to advance at every corner. After qualifying 12th in the many red flagged sessions Jonathan...
Summerton Makes his Name
Starting his first ever A1 GP race weekend as race driver 18 year old Florida resident Jonathan Summerton continued to advance at every corner. After qualifying 12th in the many red flagged sessions Jonathan was ready to go. When the 20 minute sprint race started he was on the pace immediately, many times doing faster sectors than the leaders, holding his own, and then advancing to 11th. Unfortunately, on the 12th lap with just 4 laps to go he was forced into retirement with gearbox/transmission problems. Thus, he starts the feature race from 20th. Jonathan has definitely made a name for himself this weekend, graduating to racing against, and being as good as the best drivers in the Formula world.
Starting the race from P20 was a struggle as Italy stalled his car blocking Jonathan who lost a couple of positions, and again, at turn 1 where several cars were tangled on the narrow street course. However, not to be outdone, Jonathan pushed his Team A1GP "We the People "car and slowly worked his way up the positions. When the mandatory pit stops commenced Jonathan had reached 12th and elected to stay our for a couple of laps more, a wise choice, as when he came in to a clear pit the Team USA members did one of the fastest pit stops to date keeping Jonathan in contention for points. Jonathan then continued his assault to 10th and then 8th where he managed to put several of the fastest laps at that time of any drivers catching Team Mexico where he stalked him for a couple of laps waiting to pounce. When Mexico made a slight mistake, he made the advance with a clean, swift movement up to P7. Now, with a clear track, Jonathan again showed his speed with fast laps and gaining on P6. However, going into the chicane his backend went loose after hitting some tire beads; unfortunately causing him to hit the wall very hard causing major damage to the car and in doing so fracturing his wrist; his race done and an evening in hospital.
Speaking about Jonathan's weekend Dick Bennetts commented, "Jonathan performed exceptionally well for his first race weekend. He definitely impressed everyone watching. TO GO FROM THE BACK OF THE FIELD TO P7 ON THE DURBAN STREET TRACK IS UNBELIEVABLE. All the team are proud of him. He has progressed strongly all weekend improving with each session and we felt he was capable of being in the top 5. It was really unfortunate at the chicane. Luckily he has no serious damage but the car will have to be replaced for Mexico. Jonathan's pit stop was one of the fastest we have done to date."
Jonathan said after having his arm X rayed, "I am really sorry to have let the team down. The car was really great and the team have done a fantastic job in giving me such a great set up. Their pit stop was awesome. I have learnt a lot this weekend and hopefully can be back in the car for Mexico and bring our team and the USA a podium."