Mosport Atlantic race sees just 10 car grid The battle for the 2009 Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda just got a whole lot tighter as Jonathan Summerton led a 1-2 sweep for Newman Wachs Racing in the Grand Prix of Mosport.
Driving the No. 34 Nuclear Clean Air Energy/Entergy/NEI machine for Newman Wachs Racing, Summerton parlayed his fourth pole position of the season into his third victory of 2009, leading from the race’s standing start all the way through the 45-minute timed event. His teammate, John Edwards, crossed the line second, 1.122 seconds behind in the No. 36 MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development/Nuclear Clean Air Energy/NEI/Entergy entry.
Meanwhile, points leader Simona De Silvestro, who entered the race with a 21-point lead over Edwards, crashed her No. 78 Stargate Worlds/Maakoa/Cheyenne Mountain Entertainment/FireSky/Cardinal Technologies machine in Turn 2 six laps from the finish. She was not injured and was scored 10th. As a result, De Silvestro’s lead is now just eight points, 160-152, over Edwards; with Summerton another four points back in third.
For Summerton, it was his fifth career Atlantic Championship victory. He has finished on the podium in seven of 10 races this season and today’s victory was his third consecutive podium result.
“I’m just really excited,” Summerton said. “Everything that we did today went down really good. I’d just like to thank the team and everybody for all they’ve done, Cosworth for the engines and Mazda and Cooper, and (team owner) Eddie Wachs for giving me this opportunity. I couldn’t ask for anything better. I’m really happy to be up front and winning this race. Simona (De Silvestro) had a bit of bad luck and I think it really helped us in the championship this weekend. John (Edwards) and I finished 1-2, and you couldn’t ask for much better. Hopefully, this will continue through the next two races. I know we can do it.”
The second-place result for Edwards was also his seventh top-three performance of the season. The 18-year-old from Cincinnati, Ohio also earned the valuable “Hard Charger” bonus championship point and an extra $2,000 for improving the most positions in the race.
“Today was a great race,” Edwards said. “Unfortunately, I didn’t qualify well. I was hoping that we could lock out the front row with Newman Wachs, but Jonathan got pole and I didn’t have a great qualifying, so I knew I had to make up for it in the race. In the first few laps, we were running all together and I had a bit of an advantage coming out of (Turn) 5 compared to Simona and Frederic (Vervisch) but Simona was getting Frederic’s draft, so I wasn’t able to close up on her much. Finally, she made a mistake and I was able to get by her and then just caught Frederic and passed him.
“After that, it was a bit of a boring race. We were just running lap times. I was pretty similar to Jonathan, a tenth (of a second) quicker some laps, a tenth slower other laps, but all in all, it was a great day for the team. I think we scored the maximum points that a team can score, because I got the Hard Charger even and got that extra point. Jonathan got pole and we got the first two positions for points. It’s really a great day. We made up a lot of championship ground and we’re looking forward to the next two rounds.”
Vervisch came home third in the No. 17 Quartier/Isomo/Shinokki entry from Genoa Racing. It was the fourth podium result of the season for the Belgian, but it was his first podium since a third-place run in Race #2 of the New Jersey doubleheader in June. Vervisch continues to lead the Rookie of the Year point standings with 113 points. He is now 25 points ahead of Spanish driver Borja Garcia with two races remaining on the schedule.
“We were very strong since the beginning of this weekend,” Vervisch said. “I thought that we had a good chance on at least a podium, but I was already thinking about winning. We had a very quick car on Friday morning. We did the quickest lap overall. From then on, we made little changes that didn’t really help and since then it was a bit difficult to get it exactly back. Basically, understeer was the big problem and it stayed in qualifying and also in the race. P3 is a good result after those difficult races we had. I have to thank the team for the good car now. We just have to try to make the best of the last two races, because I think we can still do some good efforts. We showed that we still can be fast, so we will work on being faster.”
Driving in his first Atlantic Championship race in more than two years, Canadian racer Robert Wickens wound up fourth in the No. 18 Genoa Racing machine. Defending series champion Markus Niemela came home fifth in the No. 1 Jensen MotorSport machine for his third straight top-five run.
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario, Canada – Race results for Round 10 of 2009 Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda at Mosport International Raceway, with finishing position, starting position in parentheses, driver, hometown or country, car number, team, laps completed and reason out, if any:
1. (1) Jonathan Summerton, Kissimmee, Fla., No. 34 Newman Wachs Racing, 33.
2. (4) John Edwards, Cincinnati, Ohio, No. 36 Newman Wachs Racing, 33.
3. (3) Frederic Vervisch (R), Belgium, No. 17 Genoa Racing, 33.
4. (5) Robert Wickens, Guelph, Ontario, Canada, No. 18 Genoa Racing, 33.
5. (6) Markus Niemela, Finland, No. 1 Jensen MotorSport, 33.
6. (8) Tonis Kasemets, Estonia, No. 35 Polestar Motor Racing, 33.
7. (6) Borja Garcia (R), Spain, No. 6 Condor Motorsports, 33.
8. (9) Max Lefevre (R), France, No. 7 Condor Motorsports, 33.
9. (10) Eric Jensen, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, No. 3 Jensen MotorSport, 32.
10. (2) Simona De Silvestro, Switzerland, No. 78 Team Stargate Worlds, 27, contact.
(R) Series Rookie
Time of Race: 45:30.034
Average Speed: 106.945 mph
Margin of Victory: 1.122 seconds
Lap leaders: Summerton, 1-33.
Lead changes: None.
Caution flags: 1 for 4 laps.
Series Points Leaders: 1. De Silvestro, 160; 2. Edwards, 152; 3. Summerton, 148; 4. Vervisch, 113; 5. Kasemets, 90; 6. Garcia, 88; 7. Niemela, 80; 8. Frankie Muniz, 62; 9. James Winslow, 57; 10. Lefevre, 47.
Next Race: Road Atlanta; Braselton, Ga.; September 25.