John Edwards sealed the deal on a near-perfect weekend for himself and Newman Wachs Racing in today's finale to the weekend at the Autobahn Country Club. Edwards has now scored his third win, second successive from pole position, in this year's ...
John Edwards sealed the deal on a near-perfect weekend for himself and Newman Wachs Racing in today's finale to the weekend at the Autobahn Country Club. Edwards has now scored his third win, second successive from pole position, in this year's Cooper Tires Atlantic Championship and moves to within five points of the series lead.
"The car was just so hooked up this weekend, and it was even better today," Edwards said. "My engineer told me to settle into a pace and hit your marks, and I said, 'I am hitting my marks!' I was cruising a bit there, but the car was just a dream to drive."
The 18-year-old emulated his race of a day earlier, launching from pole position to a huge lead at the start and never being challenged en route to victory. Edwards led home series points leader Simona de Silvestro and Tonis Kasemets, as the Illinois native recorded a popular home podium finish.
"It feels great especially after yesterday," de Silvestro said, as she fell into a similar rhythm as yesterday. "It was almost the same as yesterday, I was stuck behind Jonathan but he never made a mistake. Real credit to Team Stargate Worlds, it took some time to truly get up to speed but it was still a real good and collecting points."
Kasemets thoroughly enjoyed the moment. When asked how it felt to bring such a shoestring effort to a great result at his home track, the Estonian quipped, "You pretty much answered your own questions." He also joked there would be a party at his house afterwards, and then tomorrow he and the team would replace the engine and move on to Mid-Ohio, the series' next round.
Frederic Vervisch and Borja Garcia, both series rookies, completed the top five. For a majority of the race, today's event mirrored yesterday's in nearly every facet. That was until Edwards' teammate Jonathan Summerton dropped out with mechanical issues on lap 17.
Edwards gapped the field by over seven seconds by lap 6, with Summerton and de Silvestro holding station in second and third with Kasemets and Vervisch just behind. Although de Silvestro was close, she was unable to make a pass on Summerton who fought off all efforts. Summerton then ground to a halt from P2 with apparent alternator problems.
"There was no warning," Summerton related. "Off of (turn) six it just went quiet. I thought it might have been something in the gearbox so I tried to really stick it into gear but that didn't work."
Up front, Edwards confirmed the fastest race lap, something eclipsed yesterday by his teammate on the final lap. There also wasn't the drama of the initial false start as happened yesterday when Edwards launched and stalled shortly thereafter. In fact, there were no cautions whatsoever on the circuit in a very clean event.
After the top five were remaining finishers Markus Niemela, Frankie Muniz, Max Lefevre, James Winslow and Eric Jensen. Muniz was the only driver able to pass, gaining two positions at the start, and earning the series' hard charger award for his efforts.
Winslow jumped the start and was penalized with a drive-thru penalty, though he was able to pass Jensen midway through the race. The Canadian veteran and team owner stepped into his second car for this race in place of regular driver Michael Nacol.
De Silvestro still recorded her sixth successive podium finish and that consistency has kept her atop the season-long points standings, now leading Edwards 119-114. Both de Silvestro and Edwards have won three races, Summerton the other in the seven rounds of the 12-race championship so far this season.