Summerton wins second race at Road America

In a stunning repeat of the winners at the Edmonton doubleheader two weeks past, rookie American driver Jonathan Summerton won the second race this weekend just as he did at the Canadian event. Since Jonathan Bomarito won the first races at both...

In a stunning repeat of the winners at the Edmonton doubleheader two weeks past, rookie American driver Jonathan Summerton won the second race this weekend just as he did at the Canadian event. Since Jonathan Bomarito won the first races at both Edmonton and Road America, this means the last four races have been won by Americans named Jonathan, and in precisely the same order. What makes Summerton's victory even more remarkable is the fact that he started in mid pack on the grid. Wins like this are rare, and at a road course, they are nearly unheard of. And yet, the young Floridian was able to execute a clean pass in the closing laps of the 20 lap race, rocketing past Bomarito as they went through turn one.

"We came from the back, coming from ninth spot," Summerton said. "We had a great start, but we were hit after the first corner, which dropped us down a few places. Then, of course, the yellows came out and I think that helped us a bit for the restarts. We gained a couple positions on each restart. Of course, at the end there, it was a very hard battle with Jonathan. We were only closing very slightly and when I got very close, I'd lose all my downforce. It was a very hard run there at the end. I made a little mistake, and I think Jonathan made a little mistake at the very end, and I think both of us did a very good job. We were pulling away from the rest of the field. I was quite happy to finish up there on the top spot."

This second win for Summerton ended a virtual sweep by Bomarito for the weekend, although he was never less than second in any session. The win and today's second place ensures that Jonathan Bomarito leaves this well loved track first in the points, pulling ahead for the first time in 2008 of all the other drivers, including second place James Hinchcliffe.

"It feels good to be at the top of the championship points, for sure," Bomarito said. "After Laguna Seca, when we DNF'd (did not finish) there, I knew it was going to be a long road back up to the top. Actually, I'm surprised that we were able to do it so soon. I figured it would take right up until, probably, the last race to make up those points. So, it feels great to be back up there. The team is really gelling, the car's been really great, and hopefully we can keep this trend throughout the rest of the year, and hopefully we can finish up top."

Returning Atlantic veteran Tonis Kasemets repeated his third place finish from yesterday. The two consecutive podiums perhaps make the Estonian, who moved to the United States due to limited racing opportunities in Europe, an attractive prospect for team owners.

"Today was a lot harder," Kasemets said. "Probably the track conditions for my car were a little bit not so good as it was yesterday. Yesterday, it would have been easy, and I finished third yesterday. I still need to learn from the starts. It's too bad there were so many yellows. If it would have stayed green, I probably would have been second. I don't know if I would have won it, but third is great and good for Genoa Racing."

The frequent full course yellow flag laps, while presumably necessary for safety, nonetheless gave the very short race a choppy effect, partly due to the extreme length of the race course. A system such as that used in Formula One to quickly remove wounded cars would definitely be an improvement at Road America. All day it was a waiting game, hoping for seemingly endless yellows to end.

Apart from the two Jonathans, the weekend was not fortunate for other race winners in the season. Junior Strous drops again in the standings due to two mid pack finishes. Simona De Silvestro had significant spins both races, while Hinchcliffe seemed to struggle with an ill handling car.

The Atlantic Series continues next weekend at Trois Rivieres, marking the third and final Canadian race of the season.

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About this article
Series Atlantic
Drivers Jonathan Bomarito , Tonis Kasemets , Junior Strous , James Hinchcliffe , Jonathan Summerton