Vassmer, Goring Test Andersen's Star Mazda Cars FAIRFIELD, N.J., Nov. 20 - Ricardo Vassmer, who finished third in this year's NASA Cooper Tires Formula Ford 2000 series, and Jonathan Goring, the 2006 champion of the Skip Barber National ...
Vassmer, Goring Test Andersen's Star Mazda Cars
FAIRFIELD, N.J., Nov. 20 - Ricardo Vassmer, who finished third in this year's NASA Cooper Tires Formula Ford 2000 series, and Jonathan Goring, the 2006 champion of the Skip Barber National Championship presented by Racer, got the opportunity to test with one of the best teams in American formula car racing last week when they drove some of Andersen Racing's Star Mazda cars in a private test at Roebling Road Raceway in Bloomingdale, Ga.
"It went very well," said team owner Dan Andersen of the two-day test.
It was Vassmer's second appearance with the team, as he also tested with Andersen Racing earlier this month at VIRginia International Raceway in Alton, Va.
"Ricardo again impressed all of us with his speed, his feedback and his desire to learn and to win," Andersen said of the 22-year-old from Caracas, Venezuela and Coral Springs, Fla.
"Jonathan did an awesome job as well, adapting quickly to the higher-horsepower car and working with team engineer Remi Lanteigne on changes to his car's set-up. I'm again impressed with the quality of Skip Barber graduates, especially their champions," Andersen added.
"The Star Mazda car is fun to drive," Vassmer said. "It feels just as fast as an Atlantic car in the straights, but the Goodyear tires make the car easy to drive. I got up to speed very quickly.
"The first test at VIR was very good, but at Roebling Road I got the chance to compare myself against someone else," Vassmer continued. "Everything went well, but we had some problems with the engine. The guys found the problem and as soon as they fixed it, I was able to set the fastest lap of the two-day test, which was below the official track record for an SCCA Atlantic car. At that track the Atlantic car has an advantage because of its ground effects, free tires and free suspension. I did my lap on pretty worn-down tires, which proved the car is fast.
"Andersen Racing is the most professional team I have ever worked with," Vassmer added. "I feel like we're all on the same page in that we all want to win the championship next year. The team's cars are very fast, and they can fix any problem. I worked with Remi at the Atlantic race I did in Denver and I got along with him right away. Michelle [Kish] does a great job managing the team. Dan Andersen wants to win the title as much as I do, so I really hope we can work together next year."
"This test was the second time I drove a Star Mazda car," noted Goring, 16, of Norfolk, Conn. "The biggest thing to get used to was the downforce, especially in the high-speed cornering.
"I was very impressed with how professional everyone is at Andersen Racing, yet how easy everybody is to talk to," added Goring, a student at Explorations School in Winsted, Conn. "I was also impressed with the team's equipment; their transporter and their cars; just everything!"
Although they hail from different continents, Vassmer and Goring have a great deal in common. Both started their racing careers in karting, and both young men's fathers and mothers have raced cars in the past.
Andersen Racing offers a unique, three-tiered approach to groom drivers through the formative stages of American open-wheel racing and train them for careers as IndyCar or Champ Car World Series drivers. In 2007 the team plans to compete in the Indy Pro Series, the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear, and the Hankook Tires FF2000 series.