The battle for the 2009 Atlantic Championship 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 #34 machine, Summerton parlayed his fourth pole position of the season into a third victory, leading from the race's standing start all the way through the 45-minute timed event. Team-mate John Edwards crossed the line second, 1.122secs behind, while points leader Simona de Silvestro crashed her #78 Team Stargate Worlds entry in turn two six laps from the finish, reducing her advantage from 21 points to eight over Edwards, with Summerton another four points back in third.
For Summerton, it was a fifth career Atlantic Championship victory. He has finished on the podium in seven of ten races this season and today's victory was his third consecutive podium result.
“I'm just really excited,” the F1 prospect admitted, "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, 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 had a bit of bad luck and I think it really helped us in the championship this weekend. John 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.”
Second place for Edwards was also a seventh top three performance of the season for the 18-year old, who also earned the valuable 'Hard Charger' bonus point - and an extra $2000 - 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] five 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 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 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 #17 Genoa Racing entry. It was the fourth podium result of the season for the Belgian, but it was his first since a third-place run in race two of the New Jersey double-header 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.