A1 TEAM USA's Summerton 10th in Feature at Sepang Jonathan Summerton finished 10th in the Feature race Sunday at Sepang International Circuit, scoring A1 TEAM USA's first point of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport season with a spirited drive...
A1 TEAM USA's Summerton 10th in Feature at Sepang
Jonathan Summerton finished 10th in the Feature race Sunday at Sepang International Circuit, scoring A1 TEAM USA's first point of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport season with a spirited drive from the back following an unlucky start.
"What a race," Summerton said. "We're really happy to have scored our first point of the season and disappointed we didn't finish higher. The 'We the People' car was fast, but we kept running into all kinds of trouble. We certainly earned that point."
The 19-year-old from Kissimmee, Fla., gridded 13th for the 35-lap Feature on the 3.44-mile, 15-turn course.
"I gained about two positions on the (standing) start, but there was a three-car pileup in Turn One," Summerton said. "I was stuck on the outside and had to go through the gravel to avoid crashing into the stopped cars and dropped to the back of the field."
Summerton was not only running 21st, but he had lost distance to the tail end of the field. He drove up to 16th when the safety car came out to begin a full-course caution on lap nine.
"We had some problems with the radio and by the time I heard the team telling me to pit, I was past the entrance and had to go around behind the safety car," Summerton said. "The rest of the field pitted a lap earlier and we restarted 19th."
Summerton climbed to 17th before encountering Pakistan's Adam Khan.
"He turned into me while we were driving in a straight line and then pushed me into the grass when I tried to pass him again," Summerton said. "It changed the handling of the car both times."
Summerton and Khan made their second pit stop on the 25th lap and A1 TEAM USA got out in front of Pakistan.
"We had a great stop," Summerton said. "Without Pakistan in front of us, I was able to run much faster laps. I know we were gaining positions, but wasn't sure where I was on the final lap. I found out later I was in 10th. I tried to pass Australia for ninth and (Ian Dyk) pushed me into the grass and that allowed Great Britain (Oliver Jarvis) to get past."
Following the race, Great Britain was penalized two seconds for speeding on the pit lane and it moved A1 TEAM USA into 10th in the results.
Summerton finished 12th in the 10-lap Sprint earlier Sunday. He started 11th and immediately gained four positions, but ran into a first-lap crash involving China's Congfu Chang and New Zealand's Jonny Reid.
"We were unlucky with China and New Zealand making contact in front of us," Summerton said. "I had to brake hard to miss becoming part of the incident and we fell back to 15th. The car was unbalanced and had a vibration after that and didn't make much progress. We were able to fix the vibration and improve the car with a damper (suspension) change for the Feature."
Summerton was 14th in the provisional results. A1 TEAM USA gained two positions in the official classification when Germany and The Netherlands were penalized.
"I think what we take away from today most is that we had a fast car in the Feature and were able to pass cars," A1 TEAM USA owner Rick Weidinger said. "We're pleased to have scored a point, but more important was our performance. It was a successful return for Jonathan and the team worked well together. Those are all positives as we move forward.
"But, in order to begin achieving the goals we established prior to the start of the season, we need a bit better organization and communication during the race. If we accomplish this, we will find ourselves in the top five."
The next round, the fourth of 10, for A1GP World Cup of Motorsport is Dec. 14-16 at Zhuhai, China.