After finishing third in the opening race of the 2009 Atlantic Championship with Genoa Racing, Jonathan Summerton has announced that he has signed a deal with Andersen Racing to run the opening race in the 2009 Indy Lights series. Summerton, who has tested with Andersen a few times this off-season, has made it clear that he would like to run a full Indy Lights schedule with Andersen if the funding permits. The first race will be run April 4-5 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida.
Based on the low Indy Lights numbers at the Barber Motorsports Park test this weekend, I find his decision a bit odd. He obviously has a good thing going with Genoa right now and the Atlantic Championship looks to have one of the most competitive fields at this time.... most on-lookers would assume that Summerton, with Formula One being his self-proclaimed goal, would want to stick with his Atlantic efforts and focus on road courses. On the flip side of that argument, I'm sure a large part of his decision to join the Indy Lights series revolves around oval experience. Despite his impressive resume, he lacks circle track experience and it goes without saying the more you can add to your resume the better off you will be. He is currently scheduled to complete an oval test with Andersen Racing tomorrow at Kentucky Speedway, where he will try to obtain his Indy Lights rookie license on Tuesday.
Of course there is also the financial factor, which we all know plays a huge part in one's career decisions...especially this year.
At this time, no one really knows where Summerton will end up racing full-time in 2009. Regardless of what he decides, he will be a great asset to any series/team.