A1 Team USA Scores a Podium in Mexico City We The People Car Nets Nine Championship Points MEXICO CITY, Mexico-A podium finish for the Feature Race of the Mexico City A1GP was the well-deserved reward for a week's worth of hard...
A1 Team USA Scores a Podium in Mexico City
We The People Car Nets Nine Championship Points
MEXICO CITY, Mexico-A podium finish for the Feature Race of the Mexico City A1GP was the well-deserved reward for a week's worth of hard work from A1 TEAM USA. Jonathan Summerton produced the drive of his life today, netting second place in the Feature Race, along with the fastest lap, following a fifth place finish in the Sprint Race.
As the morning's 12-lap Sprint Race got underway, the Brazillian car of Bruno Junqueira was intent on a swift getaway, pushing the limit before the green light. He then spun across the track, right in front of the We The People car, sending debris and competitors spinning in all directions. Summerton reacted sharply, steered clear of trouble, and emerged in 5th spot by the first corner.
There followed a great race between Summerton and Adrian Zaugg of South Africa. Clearly quicker, Jonathan ducked and dived, but even with the aid of the Powerboost button, he could not find a way past. In the end, a safe run and a points-paying 5th place was the reward for TEAM USA.
"It was an interesting start," said Summerton following the Sprint Race. "I saw Brazil go to the left, and a lot of smoke, so I thought "this is it", and swerved to the right. It all worked out pretty well."
Starting in 5th position for the Feature, Summerton made a blazing start, blowing away the pole sitting car of Malaysia, and squeezing through a seemingly nonexistent gap between Australia and South Africa to place second into the first corner. Summerton's good friend Oliver Jarvis then held the We The People car at bay until lap 8, when the British driver dived into the pits for fresh tires. TEAM USA led from lap 9 to lap 14, pulling away from the following cars. Lap 14 was USA's turn to make a pit stop. Summerton emerged from the pits in 5th spot. On lap 17, he circulated in 1:27.841, a time which would remain unmatched by anyone during the race.
As the final pit stops took place, the picture again came into focus. TEAM USA was in 2nd place, trailing Team GBR by 4 seconds. However, the race was not even half over. Summerton drove with all his heart. At every corner, he pushed to the limit and never made a mistake. Inch by inch, the gap closed. With 10 laps to go, the gap was down to 3 seconds. With 5 to go, it was down to 2 seconds. It looked like the gap was just too much, but Summerton kept producing stunning laps, and Jarvis was clearly feeling the heat. As the cars came off the last corner, the gap was almost zero, and the cars crossed the line nose-to-tail.
"I practiced my starts several times in pit lane, and it always went well. It really paid off in the race," said Summerton. "The car felt great on my second set of tires, and I was really able to push. When they told me the gap to Oliver, I knew I could close it down. This puts us in great shape for Shanghai. I'm really looking forward to it".
"What a fantastic effort from our team--producing nine championship points for Feature and two for Sprint," said A1 TEAM USA owner Rick Weidinger following the race. "I knew we had something special in Jonathan and to see him pull out this second place result for A1 TEAM USA is simply a great feeling. The entire team did a fantastic job. It was a picture of true desire and coherence that everyone worked so effectively together to produce a competitive car for Jonathan to secure a second place finish and nine championship points. A few more laps and we probably would have secured ten championship points and a first place finish. We will celebrate this evening together and then focus on China in on Monday."
-credit: team usa