NA-F2000: Vassmer switches series

Vassmer Switches to Hankook F2000 Series FAIRFIELD, N.J., May 3 - Due to budgetary constraints, Ricardo Vassmer has decided to switch from the IMSA-sanctioned Star Mazda Championship presented by Mazda and focus instead on the SCCA Hankook Tires...

Vassmer Switches to Hankook F2000 Series

FAIRFIELD, N.J., May 3 - Due to budgetary constraints, Ricardo Vassmer has decided to switch from the IMSA-sanctioned Star Mazda Championship presented by Mazda and focus instead on the SCCA Hankook Tires Formula 2000 Championship. The popular driver from Caracas, Venezuela will continue to be a member of Andersen Racing, which competes in both series as well as the Indy Pro Series.

The change of focus is a direct result of Vassmer's frightening crash in last Saturday's Star Mazda race at VIRginia International Raceway in Alton, Va. Although he escaped injury, his car was damaged extensively.

Vassmer is delighted that he'll be able to stay with Andersen Racing, and he's working hard to raise the funds necessary for him to return to the Star Mazda series in 2008.

Vassmer finished third last year in the Cooper Tires Formula Ford 2000 national championship and should be a factor in this year's Hankook Tires F2000 points race. Although two of the 12 races have already occurred this year, drivers are permitted to drop their worst two finishes when computing points for the championship.

"My sponsors, PDV, Citgo, Zoom and Meridiano TV, saved my season," Vassmer said. "If they hadn't stepped up their involvement, all of my budget would have gone to pay for the Star Mazda accident. Their support made it possible for me to keep racing, and I'm really thankful for their help.

"I'm very happy that my year is not over and that I'm staying with Andersen Racing," he continued. "I have to thank Dan Andersen for giving me a second chance to race with his team.

"I'm really sorry to have to leave the Star Mazda team," he added. "I want to thank them for all the hard worked they put into my car. They have been the best team I have ever worked with, but my budget for 2007 was too tight to risk having a crash like that again. I need to work on getting a bigger budget for next year.

"I'm sad to have to leave the team because I know that at some point in the season we would have had great results," he said. "Luck was just not on my side in the three races that I did. I will be cheering for the team and hope they win and have a lot of podium finishes. They deserve good results for all their hard work. [Jonny] Baker and [Jonathan] Goring are very good drivers and they will do well. They have a great team to back them up.

"Now I'm going to be racing again under the same tent as Noah [Bystrom] and Juliana [Gonzalez]," Vassmer noted. "We were teammates at JDC last year in the Cooper series, and we get along just great. I met Terrick [Mansur] at the Homestead test, and he is a very nice guy too. I believe we will all get along well. I also know Scott [Willard] back when I raced in the SCCA in 2005. I'm also looking forward to working with [driver coach] Mike Andersen. He is quick in a two-liter car. Back when I drove Formula Continentals, his times were the ones to beat."

The next Formula 2000 race is a doubleheader at Road Atlanta Motorsports Park in Braselton, Ga., May 11-12.

"I'm looking forward to the next race at Road Atlanta," Vassmer said. "I know that track fairly well. I will continue to work hard on finding additional marketing partners, and there is a chance I could get back in a Star Mazda car before the end of the year."

For more information see andersenracingteam.com, ricardovasser.com, f2000championshipseries.com and starmazda.com.

-credit: restart communications

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Series Other open wheel , Pro Mazda