American racer and rising star Jonathan Summerton will join the Formula Two test on the second day of running in Portimão later this week (12 December).
Jonathan becomes the first American to drive a modern day F2 car and he arrives with an impressive portfolio of results. The 21-year-old drove for Mucke Motorsport alongside Sebastien Buemi in the F3 Euro Series in 2006, and took one victory on his way to finishing ninth overall, ahead of his F1-bound teammate.
A limited budget meant he could only enter selected rounds during the following season, but the Florida driver took a victory for Team USA in A1GP before he returned to compete in the States for the last two years. After finishing third in the Formula Atlantic Championship in 2008, he improved to finish as runner-up in 2009. He had also been a frontrunner in Indy Lights before a lack of finance curtailed his season.
Summerton has already been linked with driving for the USF1 Team who are due to enter the Formula One World Championship. Co-founder of the team, Peter Windsor, said earlier this year: “One obvious thing that came out of America's involvement in A1GP was Jonathan Summerton, who is very, very good. We know that Jonathan is a Sebastien Buemi-paced driver because he was Buemi's team-mate in F3, so he's a guy that's obviously got a massive amount of potential."
Summerton is now eyeing a switch to the 2010 FIA Formula Two Championship as he believes the championship could be the perfect stepping stone to Formula One.
Jonathan Summerton said: “I watched every Formula Two race throughout the season on TV and I have stayed in touch with the championship. I know Robert Wickens pretty well and I was able to speak with him during the year and get some good feedback. The championship looks great and having the FIA and Williams backing it is really appealing. I am really looking forward to testing the car in Portugal.
“I have been in touch with USF1 for the last year or so and there is good communication between us. They are still looking for a budget next year, which makes things a little tough but they have certainly let me know that they want me. That is also one of the main reasons to look at running in Formula Two – it is a great way to gain exposure and showcase your ability. There is already the test with Williams on offer at the end of the year so to have the chance of working with a team like that is a great opportunity.
“We came back to America in 2008 and 2009 to try and re-raise awareness about my career to the people back home. Trying to find funds to compete in Europe is difficult but we feel that it is time to come back here and keep plugging away.”
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