Junior Open Wheel Talent

News and Views on Drivers Chasing Open-Wheel Stardom

Atlantic Championship: Who Can Still Win?

by Ryan Stringfield
Posted September 17, 2009 at 11:33 am Atlantic Championship, open wheel racing news

The Atlantic Championship has two races remaining on the 2009 calendar; Road Atlanta and Laguna Seca.  The top-three competitors—Simona De Silvestro, John Edwards and Jonathan Summerton—are separated by a mere 12 points (which doesn’t include a drop).  The series is allowing each driver to drop their lowest finish of the 2009 season in order to determine the final standings in the 2009 Championship.  Factoring in a drop at this point doesn’t make much sense, so we will just look at every race result for the time being.  The drop will change everything.

What You Should Know:

  • Drivers can earn 20 points for finishing 1st.
  • The average car count for the Atlantic Championship class is 11.8.
  • If a driver finishes 12th in a race, they earn 2 points.
  • If a driver qualifies on pole, they earn 1 point.
  • If a driver earns the hard charger award, they earn 1 point.
  • The most points a driver can earn in the final two races is 42 points.

So who can still win? By my calculations, the only three drivers still eligible for a bid at the 2009 championship are the fore mentioned top-three:  Simona De Silvestro, John Edwards, and Jonathan Summerton.

Best/Worst: Time to figure out the best possible scenario for each driver and the worst possible scenario.  Remember, the worst possible scenario listed below is basically irrelevant, because one of those races would be dropped.  I’m using 12th as the worst possible finishing position or a gain of 2 points… (because of the average car count this season:  11.8).

Without drops calculated:

  • Simona De Silvestro: (Best: 202, Worst:  164)
  • John Edwards:  (Best:  194, Worst:  156)
  • Jonathan Summerton- (Best:  190, Worst:  152)

As you can see, any of the top-three can still win the championship depending on how the other two finish.

Just For Fun: If you calculate each drivers drop into the current point standings, here is what you will come up with:

  • Simona De Silvestro:  156
  • John Edwards:  147
  • Jonathan Summerton:  145

Can Simona De Silvestro clinch the championship next weekend at Road Atlanta?

Yes it’s possible, but highly unlikely.  Here are a couple scenarios courtesy of the Atlantic Championship.

These scenarios are calculated with a drivers worst result dropped from the points total:  (See Just For Fun #’s Above)

  1. If Simona finishes 1st and earns a hard charger/pole position bonus point, Edwards has to finish 5th or better to remain in contention.  Summerton, on the other hand, must finish 4th or better.
  2. If Simona finishes 1st without a bonus point, Edwards must finish 5th without a bonus or 6th with a bonus point for pole or hard charger.  Summerton would need to finish 4th without a bonus or 5th with a bonus point.
  3. If Simona finishes 2nd with a bonus point, Edwards will have to finish 8th without a bonus point or 9th with a bonus point.  Summerton will have to finish 6th without a bonus or 7th with a bonus point.
  4. If Simona finishes 2nd without a bonus point, Edwards must compete at Road Atlanta.  Summerton, on the other hand, must finish 7th without a bonus point or 8th with the bonus.

You get the point: At this point, you have probably quit reading or you are saying, “Alright, I get it.”.  So we will just end the scenario section with this…

  • Assuming Simona finishes 4th at Road Atlanta without a bonus, both Edwards and Summerton will just have to compete at Road Atlanta to keep their championship hopes alive.

The championship standings are very close and should offer an exciting conclusion to the 2009 season.  Make sure to stay tuned for updates and results.

Here is a look at the current Atlantic Championship standings>>.

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