In one form or another, there has been a professional Formula Atlantic series in North America since 1974. In 2009, the International Motor Sports Association sanctioned the Cooper Tires Present The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda. The series was also part of the Mazdaspeed Motorsports Development Ladder, which included the Star Mazda Championship, Skip Barber series and Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup.

This modern-day series utilizes the Swift 016.a Formula Atlantic chassis. Swift Engineering introduced this model in 2006. The cars are powered by a 2.3-liter DOHC four-cylinder Mazda Cosworth MZR engine, which produces 300-horsepower. The transmission is a Swift/Hewland sequential shift with five forward speeds and a single reverse gear. Finally, Cooper tires are mounted on 15”X10” front and 15”X14” rear wheels.

Many of the races were held in conjunction with the America Le Mans Series. The 2009 twelve race championship kicks-off in March at Sebring International Raceway as part of the 12-Hours of Sebring weekend. Teams then travel west to Miller Motorsports Park. The first of two double-header weekends is conducted at New Jersey Motorsports Park. The series remains in the Northeast with an event a Lime Rock Park. The second double-header is held at the Autobahn Country Club. In early August, round eight takes place at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The next two events are north of the border at Canada’s Trois-Rivieres and Mosport International Raceway. The penultimate round is during the Petit Le Mans weekend at Road Atlanta and the finale is held in mid-October at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

Each contest is forty-five-minutes in length and competitors get a Mulligan (all drivers will only count points from their eleven best finishes during the twelve-race season).

Round ten of the 2009 Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda was conducted during the American Le Mans Series weekend at Mosport International Raceway. Drivers would compete on the ten turn 2.459-mile road course for forty-five-minutes.

The starting grid for round ten of the 2009 Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda. On the pole and choosing the outside lane is the No. 34 Newman Wachs Racing Swift 016.a of Jonathan Summerton. The points leader and second fastest qualifier is Simona De Silvestro driving the No. 78 Team Stargate World Swift 016.a. There were only ten competitors entered in the forty-five-minute contest.
Jonathan Summerton, driver of the No. 34 Newman Wachs Racing Swift 016.a captured his fourth pole position of the season at Mosport International Raceway. Summerton entered round ten with two victories (New Jersey and Mid-Ohio) and was third in the standings. He controlled the race but was challenged on a last lap restart by his teammate, John Edwards. Summerton prevailed and captured the $50,000 prize.
With just two races remaining after the Mosport weekend, it was becoming evident that the championship was between three drivers – Simona De Silvestro and teammates, Jonathan Summerton and John Edwards. Edwards, who was second in the standings, claimed victories at Sebring and the double-header at Autobahn. He qualified fourth fastest for race ten and finished in the runner-up position.
Starting and finishing third in round ten at Mosport International Raceway was Frederic Vervish from Belgium. To date, the highlight of the Rookie’s season was a runner-up result in the opening race at Sebring International Raceway. He was fourth in the standings, driving the No. 17 Genoa Racing Swift 016.a, but was not a threat to clinch the championship. However, Vervish could earn the Rookie title.
The second Genoa Racing entry was piloted by Canadian Robert Wickens. Wickens had not competed in the series since 2007. At that time, he was a Rookie, who scored one win and four podiums on the way to a third-place in the final standings. This year, Wickens was competing full-time in the FIA Formula 2 Championship and was second in the points chase. At Mosport, he qualified fifth and finished in fourth place.
The championship leader, Simona De Silvestro’s title aspirations, received a severe blow at Mosport. De Silvestro was dicing with Newman Wachs Racing teammates, Jonathan Summerton and John Edwards, when she lost control of the No. 78 Team Stargate World Swift 016.a. At the 35-minute mark of the contest, De Silvestro rolled the car in corner two. Her injuries were minimal and she still topped the standings.
The podium for round ten of the 2009 Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda at Mosport International Raceway. Standing in the center for the third time this season is the winner, Jonathan Summerton. On the rostrum’s left side is Summerton’s Newman Wachs Racing teammate and the runner-up, John Edwards. Finishing third is the Rookie, Frederic Vervish.

1Jonathan SummertonSwift 016.a / Newman Wachs Racing33-
2John EdwardsSwift 016.a / Newman Wachs Racing33-
3Frederic VervishSwift 016.a / Genoa Racing33-
4Robert WickensSwift 016.a / Genoa Racing33-
5Markus NiemelaSwift 016.a / Jensen MotorSport33-
6Tonis KasemetsSwift 016.a / PoleStar Motor Racing33-
7Borja GarciaSwift 016.a / Condor Motorsports33-
8Max LefevreSwift 016.a / Condor Motorsports33-
9Eric JensenSwift 016.a / Jensen MotorSport32-
10Simona De SilvestroSwift 016.a / Team Stargate World27Accident

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