Summerton Podiums at Norrisring As the Formula 3 Euro Series reached its half way point Jonathan Summerton was again the talk of the paddock. From the start of practice the 18 year old American rookie was very soon the fastest driver As he came...
Summerton Podiums at Norrisring
As the Formula 3 Euro Series reached its half way point Jonathan Summerton was again the talk of the paddock. From the start of practice the 18 year old American rookie was very soon the fastest driver As he came in to change tires he was 2nd going out again. He struggled to get a clear lap on the Norisring street track but at the end of practice he was 3rd fastest making a lot of people wonder how he does it. Later on that Friday the qualifying session took place with temperatures in the 90s. Obtaining the clear lap was again the secret with ASM bringing their drivers in on lap 2, changing tires and waiting till everyone else came in, then they went out and put down some fast laps. Jonathan was up in the top five nearly all the time and once he had his new tires and a clear lap put a blistering lap down placing him in 4th fastest. There were over 21 cars within a second of pole making for exciting racing. After qualifying Peter Mucke, team owner, said Jonathan has a great talent and maximum speed. He will soon be a well known racer due to his great potential.
Starting from 4th Jonathan had one of the best starts. Going into turn one, the hairpin, with cars 4 and 5 wide going everywhere, each jockeying for position as they came out of the turn it was Jonathan who was in Second place. As the leader and Jonathan each pulled away from the pack behind there were many instances of dueling cars careering down the straight at 240kmh, each trying to beat the other to the corner. Several local yellows were called as cars hit the wall or spun off. This continued for nearly all the race. By lap 35 Jonathan's tires were starting to go off and he was struggling to ward off third placed Sebastian Vettal who put down the fastest lap of the race. Jonathan did the intelligent thing and let him through rather than fight and block which would cause both to go slower. He then tucked in behind him to the checkered with a comfortable third, over a 3 second lead from 4th, placing him as top rookie for the race. After Jonathan said, It was a very exciting race in a beautiful town. What better way to spend the weekend, especially when I won a fantastic trophy".
Jonathan started race 2 from 6th place due to the reverse grid for positions 1-8. As the cars readied for the start the lights went on, then at 1 second they started flashing green causing total confusion. Some cars went, some didn't, which took out 3 cars before race control decided to restart the race. The cars came round again and the mechanics went on the grid to restart the cars. The lights started then went out. The sign said race delay. Some cars set off thinking they were racing, others started warming their tires. Eventually the cars lined up again and the lights went green. Jonathan had his best start yet of less than 3 seconds to 100kmh and he was in third place and pushing 2nd place when the call came that Jonathan had jumped the start and had a drive thru penalty. Unfortunately this call cannot be challenged. Jonathan came in immediately as he was being blocked by second place. This caused him to drop to the back of the pack. Starting going again he put some of the fastest laps of the race slowly working his way back up to 12th, where, going into the hairpin he dove in and had the door shut on him causing him to spin rather than crash. He dropped back again to 17th and was going again working his way up to 13th by the final lap. Questioned after the race Jonathan said, "The data showed I moved 2 or 3 inches when the lights first came on but I stopped immediately and started the race correctly. However, the marshall's decision cannot be challenged. Having a drive thru was really disappointing as I know I would have been at least second after the other car went out but starting from the back twice and getting back up to 13 shows I can run with the leaders and it was a fun race working my way through the pack. The whole Mucke team did a great job this weekend, especially my engineer, Rudi".
Next race is the Ultimate Masters at Zandvoort which is considered by many as the world championship of Formula 3.