Formula Palmer Audi Record-Setter Tristan Vautier Joins Andersen Racing For Star Mazda Championship PALMETTO, Fla., Feb. 23 - France's Tristan Vautier, who won a record six Formula Palmer Audi races last year, will compete in the Star ...
Formula Palmer Audi Record-Setter Tristan Vautier Joins Andersen Racing For Star Mazda Championship
PALMETTO, Fla., Feb. 23 - France's Tristan Vautier, who won a record six Formula Palmer Audi races last year, will compete in the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear in 2010 as a member of Andersen Racing.
The 20-year-old driver from Corenc, France will be sponsored by three French companies: Moulin T.P., a leading construction, engineering, excavation and renovation company; Cecibon, which provides candy, cookies, cotton candy and popcorn to many leading attractions, parks and theaters; and Circuit du Laquais, a race track in Champier, Rhone-Alpes which has a 2-mile road course and a kart track.
Vautier was consistently among the top runners at a Star Mazda series test Jan. 23-24 at Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Fla., which is also the site of the 2010 Star Mazda season opener on March 19.
Vautier finished fourth in the 2009 Formula Palmer Audi standings with a record six victories, six poles and six fastest race laps. He also recorded one victory and two podium finishes in the French GT3 Championship last year. He had the opportunity to compete in the season-ender of the FIA Formula 2 Championship too, where he astonished the regulars with a third- and a sixth-place finish.
He competed in the Formula Renault 2.0 Championship in 2007 and 2008, finishing second in that series in the latter year with three victories and nine podium finishes. He was also the runner-up in the French Championship of Formula Campus in 2006 with five victories in 13 races. Prior to advancing to car racing he had many successes in karting, including two championships.
The podium finish in his first FIA Formula 2 race, which occurred in Barcelona last November, definitely helped propel his career.
"I've been in touch with Andersen Racing since the end of 2008 because I already had some interest in Star Mazda, and I knew Andersen was a top team," Vautier said. "Unfortunately I wasn't able to raise the necessary budget at that time.
"My podium for my first F2 race at the end of 2009 helped me to raise solid funds for this year, and after having had a good test with the team at Sebring, I have to say that Andersen is really the place where I want to be," Vautier continued. "The team has a great capacity to mix good atmosphere and professionalism, and the cars are fast. I'm really honored to be part of the team, and I'm really looking forward to the start of the season!
"To finish with I'd like to thank my sponsors, because nothing would have been possible without their help!" he emphasized.
All of the Star Mazda tracks will be new to Vautier this year, as he's never tested or raced in America other than the test at Sebring last month.
"I'm looking forward to learning a lot, and to see what oval racing is like," he added, referring to races at O'Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis May 29 and at Iowa Speedway June 20. "The Star Mazda cars have more grip than the cars I've been racing for the last couple of years, so I will have to adapt to that too. It will be quite different, and I'm really looking forward to the new season."
With today's announcement, Vautier becomes the fourth driver who will be working out of Andersen Racing's tent at the Star Mazda season opener at Sebring. He joins two other Andersen Racing drivers who are also expected to vie for the championship - Anders Krohn of Norway and Mikael Grenier of Canada - as well as Dom Bastien, who is running a partial season. Like Vautier, Bastien is also a native of France, although his home is now in West Palm Beach, Fla.
"We have followed Tristan's career in Europe and saw that he is indeed a winning driver," said Andersen Racing co-owner Dan Andersen. "When he got in one of our cars at the Sebring open test and was immediately fast, in a new car, on a circuit that was new to him and in a new environment, we definitely wanted to sign him for the season. He worked very well with our engineers and his teammates, and I can see us winning a lot of races this year in Star Mazda!"
-source: andersen racing