Vassmer Will Take His Two Thirds at Toronto
TORONTO, July 11 - Ricardo Vassmer recorded two more podium finishes last weekend in NASA Cooper Tires Formula Ford 2000 action at Exhibition Place here. The races supported a Champ Car World Series headliner.
The top-three finishers in both FF2000 races were exactly the same. Cape Motorsports' J.R. Hildebrand and Dane Cameron finished first and second, respectively, in both events. Vassmer, of Caracas, Venezuela and Coral Springs, Fla., finished third in both races with his JDC Motorsports No. 25. His car is sponsored by Meridiano Television, Santa Barbara Airlines and Zoom.
"The Cape cars were real runaways at Toronto," Vassmer noted. "They just checked out. Our team worked very hard and we tried our best, but we didn't have the engine or the grip for them this time. I want to win, of course, but realistically this time the best I could do was third, so I have to be happy with that. Hopefully we'll be able to do more with them at Mosport and Road America.
"I really need to thank John Church and the JDC Motorsports team," Vassmer emphasized. "My car is getting better and better each weekend, and we're getting closer and closer to the Cape guys."
Hildebrand and Cameron are running away from the field in the point standings, but the two podium finishes at Toronto will help Vassmer in his quest for third overall by the end of the year. Going into Toronto he was fifth in the point standings, behind Hildebrand, Cameron, Jason Byers and Andy Knight, but unofficially he's now third with one more point than Byers. The standings are a little complicated, however, as at season's end two drops are allowed out of the 14-race schedule.
Both the series and Vassmer were making their first visit to this 1.755-mile street circuit, but Vassmer successfully avoided any problems in both 30-minute races.
Only six of the 18 cars that started Saturday afternoon's race completed all 21 laps. One of Vassmer's JDC teammates, Noah Bystrom, finished fourth, while Chris Meredith placed fifth in another Cape Motorsports entry.
Bystrom started third to Vassmer's fourth in Sunday afternoon's race, but Vassmer beat him to the checkered in that event by a margin of four-tenths of a second. Jason Byers rounded out the top five Sunday. Half of the field completed all 21 laps that day.
Vassmer was getting closer to the Cape cars as the weekend progressed. Hildebrand's fastest lap was 1.178 seconds faster than Vassmer's fastest lap in Saturday's race, but Hildebrand's fastest lap was only 0.516 of a second faster than Vassmer's on Sunday.
The next two races will be held as part of the Grand Prix of Mosport American Le Mans Series event at Mosport International Raceway in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada Sept. 1-3. The season-finale doubleheader is Sept. 22-24 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis., which is part of another Champ Car World Series weekend.