Jonathan Summerton was late to get off the blocks. He was 14 by the time he decided to race in Karts and although he was slow to start in terms of age, he was never slow on the tracks. In his debut season in racing Karts at local events, Jonathan won several races to mark the beginning of a sharp rising curve.
In his first season of full-time racing in Karts, he competed in the Rotax Junior competition and finished in first place during the competition’s winter tour in Florida. In the North Florida Rotax Max Challenge Junior levels, he finished first; He was third in the Texas National Rotax Max Challenge Junior level championships and third in the Easykart 125 International Class championships. In July, he joined his first ever driving school in the Derek Daly Academy in Las Vegas and he rounded off a busy 2003 with the Skip Barber Regional at Morosso, in Florida for his first ever win in a car.
In 2004, he became the youngest driver to win at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway when he won the Formula BMW race during the USGP weekend. This led to a Formula BMW Scholarship at Valencia, Spain after which he drove a full calendar year. He got two wins at Cleveland; a win and a fifth place at Montreal; two second-places at Laguna Seca; a second place at Road America and a fourth place in Indianapolis on his way to third place overall, in the championships. He also won the Skip Barber Regional Race at Daytona.
In 2005, he went to Europe and was part of the European edition of the Formula BMW Series. His 10th place finish, overall, had one significant second place at the difficult Spa circuit. In 2006, he went into the Formula 3 Euroseries and won the final race of the season in Germany, at Hockenheim. A second place at Le Mans, a third place at Norisring and a fourth at Lausitzring were instrumental in grabbing a 9th place in the final standings.
In 2007, Volkswagen spotted this young talent and pulled him in to be their primary development driver for their new Formula 3 engine project. As part of the project, he drove in the F3 Euroseries at Nurburgring, Barcelona and at Nogaro and finished with a best finish of 12th place at Nagano.