Shanghai: Team USA Friday report

Summerton finishes with 5th fastest time in official practice session Positive Momentum into Qualifying Round SHANGHAI, China-With a dirty track causing issues for all, A1 TEAM USA spent the better part of Friday's practice sessions trying to...

Summerton finishes with 5th fastest time in official practice session
Positive Momentum into Qualifying Round

SHANGHAI, China-With a dirty track causing issues for all, A1 TEAM USA spent the better part of Friday's practice sessions trying to find their groove at the Shanghai International Circuit. The morning's rookie session got underway as dust sprayed 30 feet into the air and driver Jonathan Summerton, fresh off his second place finish in Mexico City was eager to help the team work through the day's adjustments.

"The track is pretty dusty right now. It feels like the circuit is changing every lap," said Summerton following Rookies 1. "In Turn 2, it's really hard to judge the braking. You can't go in too fast because it tightens. It's tough to brake in just the right spot."

Technical problems were encountered in Rookies 2 and made it difficult to slow the car down at the end of the fast straight-aways. For a time, A1 TEAM USA was up to P3, but as they worked to fix the problem, other cars were able to outpace them and TEAM USA finished the session in sixth place.

For the official practice session, A1 TEAM USA replaced both electronic and mechanical parts to try to help with issues and also began the session with new tires. Additionally, the team made adjustments to help the handling as the track began to clean up. A five-lap run put Summerton in 2nd place with a 1:36.1. The circuit proved to be very tough on tires, but as the track became cleaner and quicker it helped to compensate. Some cars were able to improve their times. Relegated to P5, Summerton attempted to respond, going fastest in sector 1. He was unable to improve in sector 2 or 3, however. Summerton ended the session in P5 with a 1:35.976-only .4 seconds off of P1.

"At the beginning, the car was good, but the tires didn't last that long," said Summerton. "I was sliding around by the end. I'm okay with 5th place; it's only testing. The car is still not perfect. I think I can find time from myself and from the car, so I have a good feeling about tomorrow."

"The team worked hard today, making all the right adjustments to put Jonathan in a good position heading into qualifying tomorrow," said A1 TEAM USA owner Rick Weidinger. "Coming off our podium finish in Mexico City, I am confident we are going to be able to use this positive momentum shift to our advantage for a successful weekend in Shanghai."

The weekend's racing action for A1 TEAM USA continues on Saturday, April 14th with the final practice and qualifying for the Sprint race. The week will culminate on Sunday, April 15th with the 20-minute Sprint Race in the morning and the 70-minute Feature Race in the afternoon.

The A1GP race in Shanghai can be seen in the USA, Canada, and Mexico on Wednesday, April 18th at 4PM on the Speed Channel.

-credit: team usa

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About this article
Series A1GP
Drivers Rick Weidinger