Atlantic Championship runner-up Jonathan Summerton has been invited to test a Formula Two car as reward for his sterling US-based season, and could move to Europe as he looks to pursue a career in F1.
The American, who has been linked to the nascent USF1 operation but is unlikely to land a race seat for 2010, received the invitation from F2 series co-ordinator Chris Dredge, and will get to try the Williams-built machine in Portugal this weekend.
"Chris called me out of the blue Monday lunchtime, asking if I could be in Portugal by Friday to do a one-day test in the car on Saturday. Obviously, I answered, yes," Summerton revealed, "To drive the F2 car will be a great experience. I have heard good reports on its handling and power and it sounds like a fun car to drive.
While he expects to be able to jump into the unfamiliar car without too many problems, however, the American is wary about running on a circuit unfamiliar to him, despite his experience in F3 and A1GP.
"I haven't even seen the Algarve track yet, but it will be another great experience to jump in a new car at a new track, especially when most of the drivers will already have the prior day's testing under their belts,” he noted, “But I am up to the challenge – and it will be nice to come back to Europe.
Summerton last raced solely in Europe while contesting the F3 Euroseries as a rookie in 2006. From a season competing with the likes of F1 stars present and future Sebastian Buemi, Sebastian Vettel, Kamui Kobyashi , Kazuki Nakajima and Paul di Resta, he joined Team USA in the A1GP Series, becoming the only American to win a race. Since Andretti Green Racing took over Team USA, however, Summerton has focused on the Atlantic Championship and the Indy Lights series.
The F2 opportunity not only provides the American with a route back to F1's heartland, but also breaks up the monotony of training and sponsorship-hunting.
"I was looking forward to doing the kart race at PRI, but now I will be testing in the Algarve in an F2 car, which is going to be a lot of fun,” he admitted, “I am excited to get back in a car and get that great feeling of driving back in my system. F1 has always been my dream and to win the F2 Championship and get an F1 test with Williams F1 team will be amazing. I can't wait to get back out there driving again."