18yr. old Jonathan Summerton, in only his 6th Formula 3 Race weekend, experienced a fantastic opportunity this weekend at Zandvoort, Holland, in the World Championships of F3, the BP Ultimate Masters. Jonathan was on a high note after the first...
18yr. old Jonathan Summerton, in only his 6th Formula 3 Race weekend, experienced a fantastic opportunity this weekend at Zandvoort, Holland, in the World Championships of F3, the BP Ultimate Masters.
Jonathan was on a high note after the first practice on Saturday where he was in the top 4, an exceptional position for his first time at Zandvoort in F3, again proving beyond doubt his ability to learn a track and be competitive.
In qualifying the field was split into 2 groups due to the high number of entries, 38 cars with drivers from all over the world. Jonathan went out and put some fast laps down, then, towards the end of the session, after coming in for a new set of tires, unfortunately there was a red flag on the 2nd lap, due to a car becoming stuck in the gravel trap. This caused all the cars to come into the pits.
With only 6 minutes remaining the cars went out again, but to get a clear lap was difficult. On the 3rd, and last lap, Jonathan gained 4th fastest time and fastest rookie in the group, placing him on the 4th row of the grid. Asked about his qualifying Jonathan said, "It was unfortunate I only got 4th as the car I had could have gone faster given another lap. However, it is excellent for my 1st time here."
The crowds were out on Sunday as the cars went to the grid. Jonathan took his slot on row 4. As the light went out the cars roared to turn one, many four and five wide. Jonathan went into turn 1 with cars on both sides becoming squashed with no where to go; he slowed rather than crash placing him back a few slots but on the next couple of corners in a ballsy move he overtook on the outside of the corners gaining a couple of places back.
Zandvoort is a difficult track to overtake and during the race only one car managed to overtake. Despite several attempts to pass, Jonathan had to make do with 10th place.
Afterwards Peter Mucke said, "Jonathan has surprised many people in the industry with his ability to go fast and he uses his head during a race." When Jonathan was asked about the race he commented, "I was disappointed with the result. We'd changed a couple of things and I just couldn't get the car to grip. However, I still managed to have the 5th fastest lap time, and to finish in the top 10 as a rookie is very satisfying".