Green Green Green🏁
Since the age of 13, all I have known was racetracks, airports, and airplanes. Almost every weekend I was traveling to a track improving my skills. Started go karting where I finished 3rd at nationals my first year in karts and ended up jumping into Formula BMW as a scholarship junior along with names such as Graham Rahal, James Hinchcliffe, Tommy Milner, and more. As I grew in the sport, we decided the best way to get to F1 was to go to Europe and compete at the top levels. I spent a year in BMW and then jumped to F3 Euro which in that season there were names such as Grosjean, DiResta, Vettel, Kobayashi, Buemi, Duval, and many others. This was an amazing year as I was also signed to drive in A1GP to represent the USA. I had the opportunity to travel the world seeing and doing things so many people only dream of. Swimming with great whites in South Africa, going on safaris, bungee jumping in New Zealand, walking over the Sydney bridge, and many other amazing places and experiences. I also made some great friends around the world while making a great living.
During my time in A1GP, racing against F1 drivers during the winter season, I was able to land multiple podiums, and a win for the team in my first season. We were living the life all of us, drivers, crew, team owners etc. We had a blast and again made friends for a lifetime. As you can imagine, my life was fun, full of excitement, challenges, and amazing people all loving what they did. Yes some weekends didn’t go as planned but WE as a team made it fun no matter what. During the weeks I spent hours training while learning more about the car and tracks with the team. I spent lots of time meeting companies execs, staff, and working with sponsors on their marketing plans and entertaining clients and employees. We were treated like royalty and like we were superstars, but I never forgot the challenges and sacrifices that were made. To me it was because of everyone who believed in me and supported me, I was able to do what I loved. The fans are so passionate and I can’t begin to explain just how amazing the feeling was to see old and young the smiles we could bring, the bond between father and son, the pure excitement on a sponsors face when we won. It was simply amazing.
The sheer joy I saw in making peoples days through photographs, signatures, and just treating them as part of the team. It was amazing the excitement and the passion fans had for their favorite drivers. I learned through all of this that we could make such a difference in so many peoples lives. As entertainers, as idols for kids, as brand ambassador we could bring hope and joy to so many in such a short period.
Later that year was when I tested an F1 car along with working on a deal as a driver on the F1 circuit. As you can imagine, when I saw the contract with the salary/bonus my jaw dropped. It was more than most earn in a lifetime. All the hard work, countless years of trying to be in the right place at the right time, the support from all my fans and press colleagues was making my dream a reality. Everything my family and I had worked for was coming true. Well at least to the news outlets, friends, and fans……. In next weeks episode I plan to dive more into the F1 situation and my career in GT racing. Hate to leave you hanging but follow along on Instagram @Jsummerton for the next week for some pics courtesy of Motorsport.com and the infamous Russell Batchelor photos!