Caracas, March.16.: Ricardo Vassmer, a PDVSA, CITGO, Zoom, and Meridiano TV sponsored Venezuelan driver had a tough call at Sebring, the first 2007 Star Mazda race of the year. The Star Mazda Sebring opening race was hard work, for the driver...
Caracas, March.16.: Ricardo Vassmer, a PDVSA, CITGO, Zoom, and Meridiano TV sponsored Venezuelan driver had a tough call at Sebring, the first 2007 Star Mazda race of the year.
The Star Mazda Sebring opening race was hard work, for the driver and for Andersen Racing, his team.. After a solid lead during the first practice session on Tuesday, Ricardo got hit in Turn 17 and damaged heavily the rear suspension of his car. The team worked until late night to get the car ready for the only practice session scheduled for Wednesday morning, and finally qualifying fourth on Thursday.
However, on Friday afternoon a strong thunderstorm spoiled the party and delayed the race by over 90 minutes this afternoon.
Race control decided to launch the race on a very wet track, with rain taking over again. After 2 recognition laps behind the pace car, with rain all over the track, the race started in a single line, under yellow flag, and green came out 2 laps later, switching back to double yellow, when a triple crash on the main straight made the pace car take over for the next 5 laps. In the process Ricardo slipped from 4.th to 5.th. Finally the green flag was shown for 2 more laps, and the race was called off after just 10 total laps (30 min). Ricardo spun on the last turn on the last lap, due to extreme water on the track, and lost 2 positions, finishing 7.th, but bringing 29 championship points home.
Dan and Marco Di Leo, and James Davison filled the podium, Cameron, Mandarino, Morgan and Vassmer got spot 4 trough 7.
Only 3 green laps, and a massive crash on the main straight marked the season opening race. Ricardo commented "Tons of water, too many yellows, almost no green, and definitively no visibility, the only challenge in this "race" was to bring the car home in one piece. I accomplished this goal, and cashed some championship points in the process. The team gave me a great rain setting, and the car was really fast. We will be back for more in Houston".