Jonathan Summerton produced the drive of his life to claim a second-place finish for Team USA in Mexico City's feature race at the weekend - and is now intent on going one better next time out in China.

The F3 Euroseries ace qualified eighth for the shorter sprint race, narrowly avoiding the first corner carnage that accounted for Germany, Mexico and Brazil to record a strong fifth-place result and set himself up well for the all-important feature event.

"It was an interesting start," the 18-year-old remarked. "I saw Brazil go to the left, and a lot of smoke, so I thought 'this is it' and swerved to the right. It all worked out pretty well."

A blistering getaway in the feature saw Summerton squeeze through a seemingly non-existent gap between Australia and South Africa to exit the first corner in second place. He would lead the race for six laps following Team GB's mandatory pit visit, and once the stops had all shaken out the Floridian found himself back in second, four seconds adrift of the race leader. Pushing for all he was worth and setting fastest lap along the way, Summerton steadily reduced the gap, and as they crossed the finish line at the end of more than an hour of flat-out action the two cars were literally nose-to-tail.

"I practised my starts several times in the pit lane," he explained afterwards, "and it always went well. It really paid off in the race. The car felt great on my second set of tyres and I was really able to push. When they told me the gap to Oliver, I knew I could close it down. This puts us in great shape for Shanghai. I'm really looking forward to it."

Team USA owner Rick Weidinger was also mightily impressed by his young charge's performance, particularly as it was only his second competitive outing in A1GP following his series racing bow in South Africa last month. What's more, the result helped lift the squad up to ninth position in the nations' title chase.

"What a fantastic effort from our team," Weidinger enthused, "producing nine championship points for the feature and two for the sprint. I knew we had something special in Jonathan and to see him pull out this second place result is simply a great feeling.

"The entire team did a fantastic job. It was a picture of true desire and coherence that everyone worked so effectively together to produce a competitive car for Jonathan to secure a second place finish. A few more laps and we probably would have secured ten championship points and a first place finish. We will celebrate this evening together and then focus on China on Monday."

 

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