U.S. team submits bit to join F1; lines up American driver

Cypher Group, the somewhat stealthy U.S.-based group trying to join next year’s Formula 1 grid, officially placed its bid in this week — and it has signed up an American driver, Jonathan Summerton.

Here’s the news, and the all caps is all theirs:

TO THE DELIGHT OF AMERICAN AND INTERNATIONAL MOTORSPORT FANS CYPHER GROUP AND AMERICAN DRIVER JONATHAN SUMMERTON ANNOUNCED ON MONDAY THAT THEY WILL BE POTENTIALLY COLLABORATING TOGETHER DURING THE NEXT FEW FORMULA ONE SEASONS.

“WE HAVE OFFICIALLY SUBMITTED OUR CANDIDATURE AND HOPE THAT WE WILL SHORTLY BE SELECTED BY THE FIA AS THE 13TH ENTRY IN THE 2011 FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP” SAID A CYPHER TEAM SPOKESPERSON; “WE ASPIRE TO BRING AMERICA’S RED, WHITE, AND BLUE BACK INTO FORMULA ONE. JONATHAN SUMMERTON HAS ALREADY PROVED HIS SPEED AND ABILITY TO RACE IN BOTH THE F3 EURO SERIES AND A1GP, WINNING AGAINST CURRENT F1 DRIVERS LIKE SEBASTIAN VETTEL, KAMUI KOBAYASHI, SEBASTIEN BUEMI, KAZUKI NAKAJIMA, ADAM CARROLL AND ROMAIN GROSJEAN.

HE IS THE ONLY AMERICAN TO HAVE WON AN A1GP RACE FROM ALL THE AMERICAN DRIVERS WHO HAVE COMPETED IN THE SERIES INCLUDING MARCO ANDRETTI, BUDDY RICE, RYAN HUNTER-REAY, AND SCOTT SPEED. ‘JONATHAN IS CAPABLE OF RACING AGAINST THE TOP FORMULA ONE DRIVERS AND WE HOPE TO BE ABLE TO GIVE HIM A COMPETITIVE CAR. WE LOOK FORWARD TO THE OPPORTUNITY OF BEING ON THE STARTING GRID IN 2011’.

Big news, the only trouble being that Cypher continues to fly so low under the radar that it isn’t getting a lot of press. ART’s decision not to vie for a grid spot next year got far more coverage (as far as I’ve seen).

Of course, Cypher does have to operate in the shadow of USF1, which ended up being all hype and media and no substance, so I certainly understand the way the group is operating. Of course, on its website, Cypher also says:

OUR AIMS ARE ULTIMATELY TO BE COMPETITIVE AND PROVIDE UNRIVALED ACCESS AND INTERACTION FOR OUR SUPPORTERS WHILST MAINTAINING HIGH STANDARDS OF INTEGRITY AND VALUES, ALONGSIDE CREATIVE OUT OF THE BOX THINKING.

I’m not sure they’re fully managed the unrivaled access part, but maybe it is coming. Also of note, the team said from the beginning it only would submit a grid bid if the economics worked out. So, I guess they have.

Thoughts? Reactions? Summerton seems a decent guy to develop around, and he is American, just not the highest profile open-wheel driver in the country. But he certainly gives the team someone to market around to U.S. fans.

As always, it goes without saying that we’d love to see a successful U.S. team.

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