2009 Atlantic Championship.........

All about the IRL Indy Pro Series and the Atlantic Championship

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De Silvestro cements points lead w/win at Lime Rock

Postby mlittle » Sun Jul 19, 2009 12:42 pm

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2009 Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda points leader Simona De Silvestro became the winningest driver in the 36-year of the series with another dominating performance at Lime Rock Park. Driving the No. 78 Stargate Worlds/Maakoa/Cheyenne Mountain Entertainment/FireSky/Cardinal Technologies machine for Team Stargate Worlds, De Silvestro started from the pole position and led every lap en route to a 10.004-second victory over John Edwards. It was the third victory of the season for De Silvestro and the fourth of her career, moving her one win ahead of Katherine Legge, who won three races in her lone Atlantic season of 2005. The win also enabled De Silvestro to extend her lead in the championship standings to 17 points, 89-72, over a second-place tie between Edwards and Jonathan Summerton after five of 12 races.

“I had a good qualifying in the rain (on Friday), so I started on pole,” De Silvestro said. “I think pole is a big advantage at pretty much every track we go to. The race was good. Borja (Garcia), in the beginning, put a little bit of pressure on me, because he was right behind me and he was, I think, a little bit quicker in the beginning. Then, I could settle in. I think the first lapped cars I got, I got through cleaner than he did, so that gave me a little bit of a gap and then I just concentrated on my race. I went through traffic really well. Then, I heard that John was passing Borja for P2, but my lead was pretty extensive. It looked easy, but it was pretty hard to keep the concentration up because I was kind of on my own out there. It was fun. It’s always fun to win like this with such an advantage. My team did a great job. They give me a car every weekend that I can win with, so I hope we can keep it up like this.”

Edwards charged from fifth on the starting grid to finish second in the No. 36 MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development/Nuclear Clean Air Energy/NEI/Entergy entry for his third podium result in five races this season. His gain of three spots from start to finish earned him the $2,000 Hard Charger bonus and an extra championship point, allowing him to move into a tie with Summerton, his Newman Wachs Racing teammate, in the point standings.

“I got the Hard Charger, and I don’t think I’ve ever had to work so hard to finish second in my life,” Edwards said. “It was really a hard-earned podium finish, because we didn’t have a good qualifying. I was really trying to come from behind in the race. Once I got clean air and up to second, I was able to run the same speed as Simona and I think I got fast lap in the race. At least we know that the car is good and we didn’t lose 10 seconds to Simona. Unfortunately, we just had a lot of traffic in the beginning that I had to get by. We’re really looking forward. It’s too bad that the person we’re fighting most in the championship won the race, but we know we’re on pace with her now. It’s only halfway in the season. We’ve still got a lot left to go.”

Garcia finished third after starting second in the No. 6 Celebfilms.co.uk/CJConsulting.us machine for Condor Motorsports. It was the second Atlantic podium of the Spanish rookie’s career. He also finished third in the first race of last month’s doubleheader at New Jersey Motorsports Park.

“I didn’t start really good, because I had a lot of (wheel) spin, but after the first five laps, the car was good,” Garcia said. “I stayed behind Simona, but after Lap 5 or Lap 6, I started to lock the right front tire. After that, I had a lot of understeer, and it was impossible to continue the same pace like Simona and also the same pace like Edwards. I think the only thing was to finish third. It’s a good result and we’ll see what happens next week.”

Making his first start of the season for Newman Wachs Racing, Summerton came home fourth in the No. 34 Nuclear Clean Air Energy/Entergy/NEI car. It was the fourth top-four performance in five races this season for Summerton, who drove the first four races for Genoa Racing. Tonis Kasemets matched his best run of the season with a fifth-place performance in the No. 35 Fatburner machine for Polestar Motor Racing. The Estonian driver previously finished fifth in Round 2 at Miller Motorsports Park in May and has finished seventh or better in every race this season.
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Postby mlittle » Sat Jul 25, 2009 1:40 am

Current Atlantic Championship Standings[top-10]...............


1st} Simona de Silvestro, 89 pts(3 wins)
t-2nd}[2]John Edwards, 72 pts(1 win)
t-2nd}[3]Jonathan Summerton, 72 pts(1 win)
4th} Frederic Vervisch, 60 pts
5th} Borja Garcia, 46 pts
6th} Tonis Kasemets, 42 pts
7th} Markus Niemala, 36 pts
8th} Frankie Muniz, 33 pts
9th} James Winslow, 30 pts
10th} Max Lefevre, 19 pts
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Edwards cruises to first Autobahn win

Postby mlittle » Sun Jul 26, 2009 10:30 am

(quoting multiple sources)
John Edwards
is three-fourths through a perfect weekend in Joliet, two days after a perfect game in baseball occurred in the Windy City. He's captured pole positions for both Cooper Tires Atlantic Championship races, and now has scored a win in the first race.

The 18-year-old from Louisville, Ky. stormed to a dominant victory from pole position and led lights to flag. His second win of the season came in race one of Atlantic's double-header weekend at the Autobahn Country Club.

"It's never easy, and the first lap my tires weren't up to temps," Edwards said, noting his race was much harder from the cockpit than it may have appeared. "Once my car got up to temps I think I built 5 seconds up within the first few laps."

While Edwards won, it was a perfect day for his Newman Wachs Racing team as Jonathan Summerton fought hard to finish second and lead home Simona de Silvestro, the series points leader. Coincidentally, they finished this race in the same order they will start tomorrow's after this morning's qualifying.

There were two things that detracted from making this a perfect race for Edwards. The first was a near disaster on the initial standing start when the lights went out early and Edwards stalled, and the second was his teammate eclipsing him for fastest race lap on the final lap. Though no points are awarded for fastest lap, it was definitely a matter of bragging rights within the team.

"We're very proud people," Edwards admitted. "I was a little disappointed Jonathan got fastest lap there right on the last lap, but I am still really happy for Eddie Wachs and the whole team."

The result is the first 1-2 for Newman Wachs in Atlantic competition. Both Edwards and Summerton still trail de Silvestro in the standings. The Team Stargate Worlds driver leads unofficially on 103 points, with Edwards second on 93 and Summerton third on 89.

Summerton had to avoid what would have been a catastrophic accident on the start when Edwards stalled. Summerton trailed just behind and swerved left to avoid contact. It was a great start for the Floridian but his second start wasn't quite as good.

"A lot was going through my mind right there!" Summerton said. "Basically I was ready to go, I had a great start and suddenly he stopped in front of me. There were no yellows so I kept going until I saw a yellow. The next start the tires were a little too hot but still able to get a good race pace going."

Though Summerton's second start wasn't great, at least it wasn't too great of a start. De Silvestro lost her runner-up position through jumping the second start, falling to third. She was never more than a few tenths behind Summerton but was never able to catch him up.

"I jumped the start, I rolled a little bit and that's all it takes with these cars," she said. "So I kind of threw myself off there. Our car still drove really well, but he drove a great race and didn't make a mistake. I was hoping he would go off but he didn't!"

De Silvestro, the lone female driver in the series, was recognized on the podium for achieving her record fourth win, her third this season, in Atlantic Championship competition for her previous week's victory in Lime Rock. Starting from third tomorrow, she hopes to extend her string of success and break up this weekend's Newman Wachs juggernaut.

Frederic Vervisch and Tonis Kasemets completed the top five. Remaining finishers were Borja Garcia, Frankie Muniz, Max Lefevre and James Winslow.

There wasn't much in the way of passing. Muniz made a good move on Lefevre for seventh and Winslow soon followed, otherwise the field held in station without the benefit of a caution flag after the first lap.

The lone caution came when defending series champion Markus Niemela of Jensen Motorsport stopped on track just after the official start. That ended a short day for the team as their second car, driven by Michael Nacol, did not start. Nacol's participation tomorrow is uncertain.

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Summerton wins at MOH; de Silvestro holds onto points lead

Postby mlittle » Thu Aug 13, 2009 1:28 am

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Jonathan Summerton won the Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda battle at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Saturday night, while points leader Simona De Silvestro took a significant step towards winning the season-long war with a second-place run.

One day after blistering the previous Atlantic track record in the No. 34 Nuclear Clean Air Energy/Entergy/NEI machine for Newman Wachs Racing, Summerton moved out into the lead from the race’s standing start and held off a charging De Silvestro to earn his second victory of the season by two seconds. Summerton’s first 2009 win came in the first race of the June doubleheader at New Jersey Motorsports Park while he was driving for Genoa Racing. The 21-year-old from Kissimmee, Fla. won twice in his rookie Atlantic season last year with Newman Wachs. He remained third in the championship standings behind De Silvestro and his NWR teammate John Edwards.

“I’d just like to thank the team for everything they’ve done all weekend,” 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. The lap time we did there in qualifying was with a little mistake, so I was really happy to still be on pole with that. 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 (Summerton and De Silvestro) 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 tires. 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 was also pretty happy following the race with a second-place run for her seventh consecutive podium result in the No. 78 Stargate Worlds/Maakoa/Cheyenne Mountain Entertainment/FireSky/Cardinal Technologies entry from Team Stargate Worlds. The 20-year-old Swiss driver came into the race with a five-point lead over Edwards in the championship standings, but saw her fortunes improve dramatically as the lights went out to start the race.

From her third-place position on the grid, she saw Edwards – who started second – have trouble getting off the starting grid. She quickly moved up to second and challenged Summerton for much of the race, including a couple of bold side-by-side maneuvers before settling for second place. Edwards, meanwhile, lost several positions on the start in the No. 36 MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development/Nuclear Clean Air Energy/NEI/Entergy machine and was involved in an incident with Tonis Kasemets (No. 35 Fatburner) and Frankie Muniz (No. 77 Stargate Worlds/Maakoa/Cheyenne Mountain Entertainment/FireSky/Cardinal Technologies) in Mid-Ohio’s famed “Keyhole” turn on the opening lap, removing Edwards from contention in the race. As a result, De Silvestro now leads Edwards by 16 points, 135-119, with Summerton another six points back with four races remaining in the season.

“My start was really good,” De Silvestro said. I even caught Summerton a little bit on the start. I don’t know what happened to John. He went off the line pretty well, but then kind of stalled, so I don’t really know what happened, so then I could pass him. Then, we went into Turn 2 and I almost crashed into Jonathan because it was really slippery and we almost both went off, but we kind of kept it there.

“My pace was, I think, a little bit faster than Summerton, so we could keep up with him, and when I lost a little bit of ground, I could kind of take it back. Lapped traffic played a little bit my way, but it was really difficult. I got next to him twice, but he kind of pinched me and it’s better to finish second than to crash out and lose a lot of points. The whole race, I think, we were a little bit faster than him. As I said in qualifying, we missed it a little bit, but we definitely put the car right for the race. I’m really happy. I really want to thank the team and Mazda, Cosworth and Cooper Tires, because they’re making this championship great. The racing is really competitive. I really want to thank them for making it happen.”

~~~Mid-Ohio Results
1. (1) Jonathan Summerton, Kissimmee, Fla., No. 34 Newman Wachs Racing, 38.
2. (3) Simona De Silvestro, Switzerland, No. 78 Team Stargate Worlds, 38.
3. (4) Borja Garcia, Spain, No. 6 Condor Motorsports, 38.
4. (5) Markus Niemela, Finland, No. 1 Jensen MotorSport, 38.
5. (6) Frederic Vervisch, Belgium, No. 19 Genoa Racing, 38.
6. (9) James Winslow, United Kingdom, No. 19 Genoa Racing, 38.
7. (10) Max Lefevre, France, No. 7 Condor Motorsports, 38.
8. (7) Frankie Muniz, Scottsdale, Ariz., No. 77 Team Stargate Worlds, 38.
9. (12) Michael Mallinen, Liberty Lake, Wash., No. 71 Swan Racing, 35.
10. (11) Hans Peter, Overland Park, Kan., No. 80 Swan Racing, 26, not running.
11. (2) John Edwards, Cincinnati, Ohio, No. 36 Newman Wachs Racing, 24, not running.
12. [8] Tonis Kasemets, Estonia, No. 35 Polestar Motor Racing, 0, not running.
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Postby mlittle » Thu Aug 13, 2009 1:33 am

Updated Atlantic Championship(top-10) Standings..............


1st} Simona de Silvestro, 135 pts(3 wins)
2nd} John Edwards, 119 pts(3 wins)
3rd} Jonathan Summerton, 113 pts(2 wins)
4th} Frederic Vervisch, 94 pts
5th} Borja Garcia, 78 pts
6th} Tonis Kasemets, 70 pts
7th} Markus Niemala, 60 pts
8th} Frankie Muniz, 54 pts
9th} James Winslow, 50 pts
10th} Max Lefevre, 37 pts
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De Silvestro continues championship march.............

Postby mlittle » Mon Aug 17, 2009 12:34 pm

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Series points leader Simona De Silvestro is now the most prolific female driver in the 36-year history of the Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda. Already the winningest woman in series history, the woman with the most pole positions and the woman with the most laps led, De Silvestro broke a tie with Katherine Legge for most wins in a single season with her fourth victory of the season and the fifth of her career in the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres. She also became the first woman to win a race in any class in the 40-year history of the iconic Quebec street race.

Driving the No. 78 Stargate Worlds/Maakoa/Cheyenne Mountain Entertainment/FireSky/Cardinal Technologies machine for Team Stargate Worlds, the 20-year-old Swiss racer started from the pole position and led every lap to win by 0.886 seconds over John Edwards. Jonathan Summerton finished third. De Silvestro now leads the Atlantic Championship point standings by 21 points, 156-135, with three of 12 races remaining.

“We had a pretty good start and then we kind of pulled away,” De Silvestro said. “I pushed really hard the first few laps to make a gap to both John and Summerton. It was good. Then, in the middle, the (local) yellow flags were a little bit disturbing, because I couldn’t see what was really happening, so I kind of had to slow down where the cautions were. I caught them, a little bit, at the wrong moments and that’s, I think, where Edwards could close the gap to me. With 10 minutes to go, I was protecting my racecar because we had to finish, and we had a strong racecar.

“I want to thank my whole team for giving me such a great car this weekend. I thought we would be struggling a little bit on the street course, but apparently not. We managed pretty well and made a great car. I’m really happy. The whole Atlantic series, coming here to Three Rivers, it’s exceptional because of all the fans. It’s so much fun to be here and so many people kind of know you, so you feel like Formula 1 drivers. That’s pretty cool. I really enjoy coming here.”

Edwards finished second in the No. 36 MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development/Nuclear Clean Air Energy/NEI/Entergy entry from Newman Wachs Racing. It was the sixth podium result in nine starts this season for Edwards, who rebounded nicely from a disappointing race last weekend at Mid-Ohio.

“It was a bit of a weird race,” said Edwards. “In the first half, Simona was flying and I think the closest I ever got to her was within a couple tenths on one lap, but every other lap she was between two and five tenths quicker on each lap. I think she pulled out to, I don’t know, between a five- and seven-second gap. Then, in the middle of the race, I started to speed up and she started to slow down, and Jonathan made a mistake, so I had no pressure from behind. I kept pushing and knew there was a lot of race to go. I started reeling her in and I think I finished second by a second or so, so I closed the gap and was doing faster laps than her for about the second half of the race. It looked like she just had the car to beat in the beginning, but if we could have gotten pole, we could have stayed in front of her, because it’s so hard to pass here. Nonetheless, it’s a great day for the team. I need to thank everyone at the team and the series for putting it on. This is such a cool event at Three Rivers. The crowd’s really great and it’s really fun to come here. Thanks to Newman Wachs, the Atlantic series, Mazda, Cosworth and Cooper Tires. They all put on a great show here today.”

Like his Newman Wachs Racing teammate, Summerton also picked up his sixth podium in nine starts with a third-place ride in the No. 34 Nuclear Clean Air Energy/Entergy/NEI machine. It was the third top-three performance in the last four races for Summerton, who is one of the leading contenders to drive for the new U.S.-based Formula 1 team in 2010. The 21-year-old from Kissimmee, Fla. is third in the championship standings with 127 points.

“We had a great start,” Summerton said. “I think I had a better start than the two in front of me, but the problem was where we were starting. We were already on the inside of the track and I had nowhere to go to my right and, of course, to the left was John, so I kind of got boxed in there. It was kind of disappointing, because it’s one of the few starts where I’ve had a really good one on everybody else. After all that, we had a little bit of a mistake in the middle of the stint and then we were able to run the fastest lap, so it was really good. The car felt great. It just stinks we couldn’t have been there for qualifying on pole, because I think we had a car to win the race.”


TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec, Canada – Race results for Round 9 of 2009 Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda at the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres, with finishing position, starting position in parentheses, driver, hometown or country, car number, team and laps completed:

1. (1) Simona De Silvestro, Switzerland, No. 78 Team Stargate Worlds, 50.
2. (2) John Edwards, Cincinnati, Ohio, No. 36 Newman Wachs Racing, 50.
3. (3) Jonathan Summerton, Kissimmee, Fla., No. 34 Newman Wachs Racing, 50.
4. (6) Tonis Kasemets, Estonia, No. 35 Polestar Motor Racing, 50.
5. (4) Markus Niemela, Finland, No. 1 Jensen MotorSport, 50.
6. [8] Frankie Muniz, Scottsdale, Ariz., No. 77 Team Stargate Worlds, 50.
7. (9) James Winslow, United Kingdom, No. 19 Genoa Racing, 50.
8. (11) Eric Jensen, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, No. 3 Jensen MotorSport, 48.
9. (5) Frederic Vervisch, Belgium, No. 19 Genoa Racing, 38, mechanical.
10. (10) Max Lefevre, France, No. 7 Condor Motorsports, 36, mechanical.
11. (7) Borja Garcia, Spain, No. 6 Condor Motorsports, 35, mechanical.

Time of Race: 50:00.543
Average Speed: 91.183 mph
Margin of Victory: 0.886 seconds
Lap leaders: De Silvestro, 1-50.
Lead changes: None.
Caution flags: None.

Series Points Leaders: 1. De Silvestro, 156; 2. Edwards, 135; 3. Summerton, 127; 4. Vervisch, 99; 5. Kasemets, 82; 6. Garcia, 81; 7. Niemela, 70; 8. Muniz, 62; 9. Winslow, 57; 10. Lefevre, 41.

Next Race: Mosport International Raceway; Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada; August 30.
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