Tristan Vautier joins the series for a one-off appearance aboard a Quantum Racing Services Van Diemen Honda
F1600 Formula F Championship Series participants will have a chance to test themselves against one of IndyCar’s most promising young drivers next weekend at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Amazingly Vautier, who won the Indy Lights title in 2012 and other ladder series titles in previous seasons, has never run at Mid-Ohio. Taking part in the July 26-28 F1600 race weekend at Mid-Ohio will provide the 23-year-old Frenchman with a chance to learn the track prior to taking the wheel of his Honda-powered Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara one week later at the IZOD IndyCar Series race weekend.
“Formula F is going to be a lot of fun, for me and I hope also for the other competitors in the series,” Vautier said. “It has been a little while since I have driven a small formula car, and I have never raced anything at all at Mid-Ohio! But I know the Quantum team has had great success in the series and at Mid-Ohio, so I’m really looking forward to joining them. I have followed the series this year, and I think it will be exciting and enjoyable to compete in it alongside the F1600 Formula F Championship Series racers.”
Driving for Schmidt Peterson in 2012, Vautier claimed the Indy Lights title with four wins and five poles in the 12-race championship. In 2011, Vautier won the Star Mazda Championship in his second year in the series, recording four victories and four pole positions. He also won two races in 2010, his first year in the series.
After success in karting, Vautier made his car racing debut in the French Volent Mygale series, finishing second in the championship in his first year. Further European racing success in Formula Campus and Formula Renault 2.0 brought Vautier to America.
Quantum is headed by racing veteran Wendell Miller, with more than 35 years in the sport and success at all levels from club racing to IndyCars. The team has recorded 30 division championships in SCCA competition, and more than 160 individual race wins in a variety of racing series.
“I think this is going to be an exciting weekend for Quantum and the series,” Miller said. “We’ve followed Tristan’s career in his seasons leading up to IndyCar, and this year, and it’s obvious he has enormous talent. Quantum has had a lot of success in F1600 and at Mid-Ohio, and we’re thrilled to get to opportunity to work with him. We’ll be able to assist him in learning the nuances of the Mid-Ohio track, and all the ‘young guns’ in the series will have a chance to test themselves against a known talent and future IndyCar star.”
In 2010, Quantum took rookie F2000 Championship Series driver Dan Erickson to two race wins, three second-place finishes and three poles in six races in the team’s Zetec-powered F2000 Van Diemen.
Open-wheel rookie Wyatt Gooden piloted a Quantum Van Diemen-Honda to a perfect four F1600 Series wins in four starts in 2011. He also qualified on the pole for three races, on the front row for all four, and set three fastest race laps.
Gooden moved up to F2000 with Quantum in 2012, and finished second in the championship, winning two races and finishing on the podium in 11 out of 14 races. He also qualified on the pole twice and was named F2000 Championship Series Rookie of the Year.
In F1600 last year, Quantum ran a 16-year-old Brazilian karting graduate Roberto Lorena in his first full season of car racing; and 20-year-old Japanese driver Haru Tanaka for a partial season in a second F1600 Van Diemen Honda.
Quantum has been a leader in the development of the Honda Fit engine for F1600 competition, completing the first Van Diemen Honda package for SCCA Club Racing in 2010. In addition to its four pro series victories with Gooden in 2011, the team scored Honda’s first SCCA National Club Racing pole, race victory and class lap record in a multi-car field that same year at Motorsports Park Hastings in Nebraska.
source: Monty Mathisen, mathisenmedia.com