Atlantics Championship – Year In Review
Battle for the Championship:
The final stretch toward the championship begins at Circuit Trois-Rivières just upstream of Montreal. Only 19 points separate the leader, Simona, from Summerton in third. Not unexpectedly, the trio qualified as they were ranked in the championship: Simona, Edwards, and Summerton. Showing no quarter to her Newman/Wachs competitors, Simona went on to win from pole position and stretch out her lead once again. Summerton and Edwards swapped positions during the race which allowed Simona’s lead to grow even more.
Things changed dramatically during the next race at Mosport. Continuing with the trend of winning from pole, Summerton proved quickest during the weekend and made significant ground in the championship battle. His teammate, Edwards, finished right behind him in second. The surprise of the weekend was what happened to de Silvestro during the race. Her qualifying efforts were strong, placing her along side Summerton in the front row, and she ran a good race until things went all wrong with six laps to go. In Turn 2, she made an error and binned her car causing her to be classified in P10. This was a huge blow to her championship lead. Summerton and Edwards maximized on de Silvestro’s mistake with their 1-2 finish and closed the gap to a mere 12 and 8 points, respectively.
The penultimate round of the 2009 Atlantics Championship was at Road Atlanta during the Petit Le Mans weekend. Simona rebounded well after her disastrous outing at Mosport starting in third and finishing in second. As was the theme of the season, the pole winner would also be the race winner. This week it was Summerton on top. Edwards would round out the podium in third, but that was enough for him to drop back behind his teammate in the championship battle. Simona, although not earning maximum points, was able to maintain her lead with a seven-point margin between her and Summerton, and a ten-point margin between her and Edwards.
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca would be the final battleground between trio that had dominated the field all season long. Simona, going in with the points lead, was in the best position, but all three were going to have to have a great day in order to secure the championship. Simona ended up NOT having a great day. She had contact with Markus Niemela in the worst possible place at Laguna, The Corkscrew. This took her out of contention and out of the championship. That left the two teammates to duke it out for the top prize. Edwards HAD to finish ahead of Summerton, and that’s exactly what he did. Once again, the pole winner, Edwards, was also the race winner. Summerton finished one spot behind him in P2 resulting in a points tie at 182 points. Both drivers had four race wins, but Edwards was awarded the Championship on the merit of his having four second-place finishes to Summerton’s three.