RLR/Andersen Racing has announced the signing of Jonathan Summerton for the 2009 Indy Lights Series season.
The 20-year-old, who is being widely tipped to take on a role with the new US-based USGPE Formula One team when it joins the grid next year, will drive the team's #9 car this season after being named as team-mate to Brazilian Mario Romancini.
The announcement comes a day after Summerton took third place for Genoa Racing in the opening round of the Atlantic Series season at Sebring and he said he was delighted to ink a deal with the development team for the Rahal Letterman Racing squad.
"I'm very excited!" he said. "I've tested with the team twice now, and I know it's a very good, very professional team. I appreciate all the faith that Dan Andersen has given me.
"I'm really looking forward to St. Pete. Street circuits are always fun. You have to push the limit when racing on a street circuit. If you push too far you're done, but I like the risk.
"I unofficially broke the road course track record at the Homestead test, but I've never driven on an oval before so I'm looking forward to testing at Kentucky. I was also impressed with Mario, my new team-mate. He was friendly and he's a talented driver. At the oval test at Homestead he was in the top five even though he'd never driven on an oval before either, which gave me even more confidence in Mario as a driver and in the whole team in general. I really hope I'll be able to do the entire Firestone Indy Lights season with RLR/Andersen Racing."
Team co-owner Dan Andersen was quick to welcome Summerton into the team and said he had high hopes for his new driver during the season ahead.
"We are very pleased to enter into a driver development deal with one of America's brightest open-wheel stars, Jonathan Summerton," he said. "His talent is recognised by many of us in the open-wheel community, and it is our great pleasure to have him as part of our 2009 Firestone Indy Lights lineup. We expect great things from him, beginning at St. Pete."