A1 TEAM USA wins Shanghai SHANGHAI, China--A1 TEAM USA won its first race in the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport as Jonathan Summerton dominated the Feature race Sunday at Shanghai International Circuit. "I'm really happy to win for A1 TEAM USA,"...
A1 TEAM USA wins Shanghai
SHANGHAI, China--A1 TEAM USA won its first race in the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport as Jonathan Summerton dominated the Feature race Sunday at Shanghai International Circuit.
"I'm really happy to win for A1 TEAM USA," Summerton said. "It's been a long time coming. We've steadily made the 'We the People' car more competitive this season and to finally stand on the top of the podium with our national anthem playing was the greatest feeling of my career."
Summerton lined up second for the standing start and accelerated past pole winner Neel Jani of Team Switzerland to take the lead into the first corner. The 19-year-old from Kissimmee, Fla., was never passed on the track, giving up the lead only during two pit stops in the 38-lap race on the 2.9-mile circuit. He finished 9.7 seconds in front of runner-up Filipe Albuquerque of Team Portugal.
"We had a great car and two flawless pit stops," Summerton said.
Summerton led the opening nine laps in the Feature before stopping at the start of the mandatory pit window.
"We had a good stop and came out fifth behind four cars which hadn't pitted," Summerton said.
When the round was completed, Summerton was back on top on lap 15 and he began to steadily pull away from the second-running Jani. A1 TEAM USA had a nine second lead with 15 laps remaining.
Summerton's second stop on lap 25 was also smooth and fast and he came out second to Team France. When France made its mandatory stop two laps later, A1 TEAM USA led by 7.5 seconds and Summerton drove unchallenged to the checkered flag.
A1 TEAM USA was knocked out early in the Sprint race.
Summerton was on the third row alongside New Zealand's Jonny Reid for the rolling start for the Sprint. At the green flag, Reid veered left and made contact with the A1 TEAM USA car's right side. Damage to the sidepod and front wing forced Summerton out of the race after he limped around the track for one lap and the team finished 21st. Summerton also bruised his right hand in the incident.
"I was driving in a straight line and I guess Jonny (Reid) decided to come over," Summerton said. "The team did a tremendous job repairing the car for the Feature."
It was quite a comeback for A1 TEAM USA in the Feature.
"We're very proud that A1 TEAM USA has taken its first win in A1GP World Cup of Motorsport," A1 TEAM USA Holdings owner Rick Weidinger said. "It's an awesome achievement for our team and we're thrilled to have done it representing the USA in an international racing series. This win is the first of many to come.
"It's unfortunate that we were taken out at the start of the Sprint race. It cost us valuable points. We showed our resilience in putting the 'We the People' car back into winning shape. The hard work of our team, led by team manager Marc Lawrence and race engineer Leon Gutfreund, was rewarded and Jonathan drove very well. We have been patient and taken our time to develop Jonathan and it seemed to pay of for us today."
A1 TEAM USA moved up to 12th in the A1GP championship with 44 points. Team China is 11th with 46 and Team Portugal 10th with 50. The 10th and final round of the season is May 2-4 at Brands Hatch, England.
"Our single focus now is to get into the top ten in the championship at Brands Hatch on May 4," Weidinger said.