A1 Team USA now has its focus set firmly on breaking into the top ten in the nations' standings in the 2007/08 A1GP season finale at Brands Hatch at the beginning of next month, after becoming the 16th country to triumph in the World Cup of Motorsport in Shanghai at the weekend.

Indeed, Jonathan Summerton's feature race success - in the series' 62nd race - made up for a heavily disappointing sprint outing, when he had clashed with fellow third row starter Jonny Reid when the lights went out, leaving him with an injured and bandaged right hand with which to begin the longer feature event. A damaged sidepod and front wing also gave the Floridian's pit crew much work to do ahead of the second race.

"I was driving in a straight line and I guess Jonny [Reid] decided to come over," Summerton reflected. "The team did a tremendous job repairing the car for the feature."

Displaying no ill-effects from his earlier shunt, the 19-year-old shot straight into the lead past pole-sitter Neel Jani and from thereon in was never headed, effortlessly pulling out a gap of almost ten seconds at the chequered flag over second-placed Filipe Albuquerque in the Portuguese machine.

"I'm really happy to win for A1 Team USA," the Kissimmee-born native enthused afterwards. "It's been a long time coming. We've steadily made the 'We The People' car more competitive this season [and] we had a great car and two flawless pit-stops. To finally stand on the top of the podium with our national anthem playing was the greatest feeling of my career."

A1 Team USA holdings owner Rick Weidinger was also over the moon with the result, praising everyone in the squad for the superb comeback that has hoisted the American entry up into twelfth spot in the nations' title chase - just six points shy of a place inside the top ten. The outfit finished 16th and ninth respectively in the championship's first two campaigns.

"We're very proud that A1 Team USA has taken its first win in the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport," underlined Weidinger. "It's an awesome achievement for our team, and we're thrilled to have done it representing the USA in an international racing series. This win is the first of many to come.

"It's unfortunate that we were taken out at the start of the sprint race - that cost us valuable points, but we showed our resilience in putting the 'We The People' car back into winning shape. The hard work of our team, led by team manager Marc Lawrence and race engineer Leon Gutfreund, was rewarded and Jonathan drove very well.

"We have been patient and taken our time to develop Jonathan and it seemed to pay off for us. Our single focus now is to get into the top ten in the championship at Brands Hatch on May 4."

 

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