Andersen Racing to Field Van Diemen for Baker In F2000 Championship Series
PALMETTO, Fla., Jan. 18 - Britain's Jonny Baker is back on board for his second season of racing in America, as Andersen Racing announced today that it will field a Van Diemen for him in the F2000 Championship Series presented by Hoosier Racing Tire.
Baker, 23, of Farnham Common, Buckinghamshire, drove for the team in Star Mazda competition last year. His best finish was a fourth place when that series slipped above the border to race at Mosport International Raceway in Bowmanville, Ontario.
Before coming to America Baker placed ninth in the 2006 UK Formula Ford Championship with two podium finishes. He finished second in the 2005 UK Formula Ford Scholarship Cup with four victories, placing fifth overall in the national class. He finished second in Class B of the British Racing Drivers' Club Single-Seater Championship in 2004 with four victories.
"I think F2000 is without doubt the best option I can take at this stage of my career, and as a result I am very excited about it," Baker said. "Staying within the Andersen family was important to me. Having spoken to Dan [Andersen, the team co-owner] during the winter on numerous occasions, the synergy throughout the entire Andersen Racing organization is extremely exciting, and it will be unbelievably beneficial for a driver.
"It is going to be a tough year, as there will be a lot of good drivers battling at the front," Baker added. "However, I am confident that I will be competitive, as I will have a strong team supporting me. I will simply put my head down and put in the hard work in every department.
"Dan has shown a lot of faith in me over the past 12 months, and it is time to repay him with what he loves most - results."
"Although Jonny had some unfortunate luck last season in Star Mazda, we are very happy to have him join our F2000 team, as he is an exceptionally talented driver and an excellent teammate for Ricardo Vassmer," said Andersen. "Jonny tested with us in October in a two-liter car, and he was very fast. Jonny is part of the Andersen family, and we will have a great 2008 season together."
The seven-weekend, 14-race F2000 Championship Series season begins with a doubleheader April 17-20 at VIRginia International Raceway in Alton, Va., one of Baker's favorite tracks. Since he'd never raced in America before the 2007 season all of the tracks were new to him last year. This year the series will be new to him but he at least has some experience at all the tracks he'll race at this year except for the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and the brand-new New Jersey Motorsports Park, site of the 2008 F2000 season finale.