Sepang: Team USA Saturday notes

A1 TEAM USA's Summerton qualifies 11th for Sprint, 13th for Feature at Sepang Jonathan Summerton qualified A1 TEAM USA in 11th position for the Sprint and 13th for the Feature in the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport at Sepang International Circuit...

A1 TEAM USA's Summerton qualifies 11th for Sprint, 13th for Feature at Sepang

Jonathan Summerton qualified A1 TEAM USA in 11th position for the Sprint and 13th for the Feature in the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport at Sepang International Circuit on Saturday.

"All in all, I think we did a decent job for my first qualifying in a while in the 'We the People' car," Summerton said. "I know we have a consistently fast car for the races."

Summerton's confidence for Sunday's 20-minute Sprint and 70-minute Feature is based upon running strongly on worn tires, which will be utilized in the race. Both of his fastest qualifying laps were on tires that had been previously used. Typically in A1GP qualifying, which allows just one lap in each of four qualifying sessions (two for Sprint and two for Feature), new rubber makes a significant difference.

A1 TEAM USA put sticker Cooper tires on the A1GP-mandated Lola-Zytek for the first qualifying session and Summerton ran 1:52.872, three seconds off what he had run in practice (using worn tires) earlier Saturday. The team made multiple changes to the setup and added downforce and on used tires Summerton ran 1:49.758 on the 3.44-mile, 15-turn circuit for 11th on the Sprint grid.

"We made a mistake in the setup for new tires in the first qualifying and in the second I was still a little nervous from the problems we had in the first," Summerton said. "We ended up 11th, but there was a lot more that I didn't make the most of."

Summerton ran 1:49.818 on used tires in the opening segment of Feature qualifying. A1 TEAM USA put on its last set of new tires for the final segment and Summerton ran 1:49.937.

"The opening Feature qualifying run was on old tires and I made on a tiny mistake on the lap, but managed to put it in P13. In the second run, I had problems with understeer in the car and we didn't make the most out of the tires," Summerton said.

A1 TEAM USA will be trying to score its first points of the season Sunday in the third round of the A1GP season.

"We're close to starting in the top 10 and we have a solid car for the race," A1 TEAM USA owner Rick Weidinger said. "Jonathan has always been fast in the races and it's good on used tires and we'll be racing on used tires. We're optimstic of scoring points.

"We've made progress with the car. Leon Gutfreund, our race engineer, has changed the front and rear suspension geometry and made other changes to adapt it to Jonathan's style. We're in the hunt and there is more to come as Jonathan runs more laps and Jonathan and the team improve their communication."

-credit: a1teamuastv.com

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About this article
Series A1GP
Drivers Jonathan Summerton , Rick Weidinger , Leon Gutfreund