Junior Open Wheel Talent

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Atlantic Championship: Hard Chargers or Not

by Ryan Stringfield
Posted June 15, 2009 at 1:40 pm Atlantic Championship

The Atlantic Championship was the headline class of the weekend at the Mazda Formula-X event at New Jersey Motorsports Park. The series completed Round 3 & 4 of the 12-race championship over the weekend. The double-header weekend was broadcast live on HDNet…which was great to see (especially with a junior formula series as the headline event).

The weekend produced some great results–unfortunately there wasn’t a lot of passing—hence the title above. The ground effects on these cars produce so much downforce that it makes passing tough, especially on a circuit like Thunderbolt Raceway where there aren’t a lot of good spots for overtaking.

The hard charger of Round 3 was John Edwards who finished 5th after starting back in 8th. He improved the most positions of any Atlantic competitor on the weekend–a mere 3. The first race of the weekend (Round 3) was won by American Jonathan Summerton. It was a nice win that was likely overdue for the 21-year-old race driver, as he has qualified on the front row of every Atlantics race (to date) in 2009. The win marked his first Atlantics victory in 2009 and his 3rd career victory in the series. It was also the first Atlantics victory for Genoa since the 1994 season. Simona De Silvestro continued to showcase her speed and finished 2nd. Borja Garcia finished the race in 3rd, which marked his best finish of the year. The 26-year-old Spaniard has been impressive all season and only seems to be getting quicker.

The hard charger of Round 4 was James Winslow who improved a mere 1 position. Winslow started the race in 10th and finished 9th. Despite the lack of an impressive # next to the hard charger title… Winslow did have a great race with Frankie Muniz throughout the 38-lap event. Richard Zober also improved one spot, finishing 12th after starting 13th. The big story of the day was Simona De Silvestro. The Swiss race driver was quick all weekend and claimed Sunday’s win by 0.910 seconds over Jonathan Summerton. With the win, Simona becomes the second female to lead the Atlantic Championship (Danica Patrick also led the championship for a short time in 2004). The final result also marked Simona’s 3rd career Atlantic Championship win–which ties Katherine Legge’s record for the most career Atlantic Championship victories by a female driver. Frederic Vervisch ran another impressive race to finish 3rd. The 22-year-old race driver has finished on the podium in all but one Atlantic race this season.

After a pre-race penalty, for qualifying interference, Frederic Vervisch was docked two starting spots. After the penalty was assessed, he started the race in fifth—which means— Vervisch was technically the hard charger of Round 4 for improving two spots. (see comment section below).
(photo: Atlantic Championship)

Atlantic Championship
New Jersey Motorsports Park
Round 3 Results
Round 4 Results

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2 Comments

  1. Anonymous on June 15, 2009 2:52 pm

    Vervisch was the hard charger in race two. He was given a two-place penalty pre-race, thus meaning he started fifth.

    http://www.atlantic-championship.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=44:njmp-sun-recap&catid=1:series-news&Itemid=1

  2. Ryan on June 15, 2009 3:04 pm

    Thank you for the update. I enter every driver's starting position and finishing position into an Excel Spreadsheet …which calculates the difference or positions improved. Unfortunately, in this instance, I missed the penalty.

    Story updated.

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