Andersen Racing's Vassmer Gets on the Podium; Bystrom Finishes Fourth In Second F2000 Race at the Glen WATKINS GLEN, N.Y., June 10 - Andersen Racing's Ricardo Vassmer and Noah Bystrom both improved their finishing positions on Saturday by one...
Andersen Racing's Vassmer Gets on the Podium; Bystrom Finishes Fourth In Second F2000 Race at the Glen
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y., June 10 - Andersen Racing's Ricardo Vassmer and Noah Bystrom both improved their finishing positions on Saturday by one spot on Sunday in F2000 Championship Series action at Watkins Glen International. Vassmer gave the team its second podium finish of the weekend here by coming in third on Sunday, while Bystrom finished fourth.
Terrick Mansur, who gave the team its podium finish on Saturday, passed more cars than anyone else on Sunday to finish ninth. The Fairfield, N.J.-based team's fourth driver here, Scott Willard, got hit in the rear again on Sunday but this time the damage wasn't as bad and he was able to finish the 14-lap, 30-minute race in 22nd spot.
Vassmer, of Caracas, Venezuela and Coral Springs, Fla., started third and finished third on Sunday, but it wasn't as easy as that sounds. Driving his No. 2 with support from PDVSA, Citgo, Zoom and Meridiano TV, he slipped to fifth on lap one but then advanced to fourth on lap four when Rob Nicholas ran into problems. Vassmer stayed in fourth place for nine laps, hounding either Bystrom or Matt McDonough for third, until he passed Bystrom for the podium position with two laps remaining.
Bystrom started second with his car, which carries the colors of APEX Universal Joints and Cooper Power Tools. The Chanhassen, Minn.-based driver dropped to fourth at the start, and got third on lap three due to Nicholas' problem. He passed McDonough for second on lap four and ran in second for seven laps until McDonough got him back on lap 11. Vassmer passed him for third on the following circuit.
A freak mechanical problem before the race started spoiled Mansur's run, but he joined the field from the paddock area after the green and made the best of it with his Aruba.com car despite being in last place, or 32nd position. He methodically worked his way up, advancing best during great restarts, and by the halfway point he was in 20th position. He was in 11th on the white-flag lap but still trying hard, and at the end he finished ninth.
Willard started 16th with his Broadreach Partners No. 14, but he dropped to 30th on lap three when he was hit from behind for the second time in 24 hours. This time the damage to the car wasn't as bad and the Weston, Conn.-based driver soldiered on to finish 22nd.
Cole Morgan led every lap to win both ends of the Glen doubleheader. McDonough was second both days.
Although the F2000 Championship point system is complicated since drops are allowed, unofficially McDonough leads with 247 points followed by Mansur with 200; Cole Morgan with 193; Bystrom with 178; Keegan Van Sicklen with 127 and Vassmer with 121. Andersen Racing's Juliana Gonzalez, who did not compete here this weekend, is ninth and Willard is 25th.
The next F2000 doubleheader is slated for the Burke Lakefront circuit in Cleveland, Ohio June 22-24.
Andersen Racing is committed to offering a program that gives up-and-coming drivers the proper training to reach open-wheel racing's major leagues. It fields multiple cars in the F2000 Championship, the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear and the Indy Pro Series. More information on the team is available on its Web site at andersenracingteam.com. Additional information is available at f2000championshipseries.com and eformulacarnews.com.
Driver quotes follow:
Ricardo Vassmer: "The car was great; even better than yesterday. I have to thank everybody on the team. They gave me an awesome car. We were right with the top runners, and I have to thank the team. Please be sure to put that in because I really want to thank them. This is a new beginning for me! I really needed a podium.
"At the start I stayed on the inside and everybody else went on the outside, and they had more room on the outside. That's why I fell back a little. But then I started to move up. When I was behind Noah I didn't want to push it too much because he's my teammate, but then on the last restart I had to go for it and I passed him. I was catching the guys in front, but Cole had a big lead because the rest of us were fighting each other and he was able to get away a little. But we can run with the leaders and I'm on the podium, so I'm happy and I really want to thank the Andersen Racing team."
Noah Bystrom: "I had problems with my set-up today. There was a power-on push and no grip. I'm surprised I stayed in fourth, actually. I drove the car as hard as I could."
Terrick Mansur: "I was lining up on the grid and I put it in reverse and the stick got stuck in reverse. The team tried to fix it, and then it just popped out. I went out on the first lap, and I couldn't even see the pack.
"The double yellows helped me. The car was working fine.
"This was just a little bad luck. These things happen in racing, and there is nothing you can do about it."
Scott Willard: "I got hit from behind again. It happened in the Inner Loop. This time I was able to keep going. Before that the car was fine."