Jonathan Summerton cemented his form as one of the most promising up-and-coming US racing drivers with a win in the Atlantic Championship event at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course at the weekend.
But points leader Simona de Silvestro took a significant step to winning the championship after coming home second for her seventh consecutive podium.
She picked up a place after starting third, at the same time as her main challenger John Edwards lost several positions at the start then failed to finish the race after an incident with two other drivers. Rounding out the podium was Spanish rookie Borja Garcia.
Also celebrating was British rookie James Winslow, who bagged his best-ever Atlantics result with a sixth-place finish, as well as earning his second $2,000 bonus of the season and an extra championship point for gaining the most places during the race – from ninth on the grid to sixth at the finish.
Summerton said: “We started off the weekend a little rough. In the first few practices, we were down out of the top five, and then we slowly worked our way back up. For qualifying, we tried something new and it definitely worked.
“Coming into this race, we just had to have a clean start. From there, I knew we had a car that could lead the race all the time. We both had good starts and going into Turn 2, I think we both just missed the braking points or weren’t expecting the track to be slow slippery.
“We overbraked ourselves and luckily both of us were able to continue on and keep racing. Later on in the race, through traffic, Simona was able to get side-by-side with me. She did a hard, fair race with me there and I really appreciate that.
“We were able to hold on and basically I just kept running lap after lap consistently and trying to keep my tyres. In the last few laps, I decided to try and go for it. I think we were able to do the fastest lap, so I’m pretty happy.”
De Silvestro is now on 135 points to Edwards’ 119, a lead of 16 points. Summerton is six points behind his team-mate Edwards with four races remaining in the season.