Location: Sonoma Raceway
Monday September 19th, 2016:
First time in the Dime SLS GT3 and his first time back in a seat since 2014, Jonathan Summerton, the newest driver for Dime Racing, shocked everyone with his quick acclimation to the AMG by setting a 2 second faster pace in practice than the SLS GT3 had done the year before at Sonoma Raceway. Summerton worked closely with the Dime Racing team to create the optimal setup for the race car prior to Saturday and Sunday’s Sonoma races and achieved the best results for Dime this year.
Saturday’s race started strong until a slight tap in the rear by the KPax McLaren sent Summerton into a spin into turn one. Not giving up, Summerton continued to keep a fast pace gaining 8th fastest lap time of the day for the GT category even with a damaged left rear.
Sunday’s race had Summerton start 8th on the grid where he raced up to 6th but the Gainsco Mclaren was spun out in front which he had to avoid costing him a couple spots where he put pressure on the Always Evolving Nissan GTR going for a pass but couldn’t quite make it stick. Finishing in 8th in Pirelli World Challenge GT class, Summerton with Dime Racing completed the best overall finish this season.
“Driving for Dime Racing was a blast,” says Summerton. “The team all worked well together and we made the most of what we had. Dime Racing created a very fun, energetic, and professional environment that made the whole, Sonoma Raceway, race weekend enjoyable and in the end we came away with a pretty successful finish to the SLS GT3 life. After being out of the race seat for almost 2 years, it was great to get the call to ask if I wanted to drive with Dime Research and Development.
I want to thank Rod and all the team at Dime racing for giving me the opportunity to show that I can still compete with the best. Having never driven a GT3 car nor driven at Sonoma Raceway, I was in for a steep learning curve but with the Dime Racing AMG engineers on hand we were able to have the pace of the top 5 cars through the races and given more time I think we could have positioned ourselves for a podium finish. Looking forward to what the future has in store and hopefully we can finish off the season with the new car and a win at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.”
“We are very glad to have Summerton in the car” says Dime’s Racing Director Rod Shegem, “…and we learned a lot of what the car and the team can do. He is a fast driver and we enjoy being in the most competitive class and in the fight for Pirelli World Challenge GT wins.”
Looking forward to Laguna Seca, we expect to see Summerton in a much more evolved Mercedes AMG GT3.