While we still wait anxiously for announcements of more driver signings in the Firestone Indy Lights series, the Cooper Tires Presents the USF2000 National Championship Powered by Mazda and the Star Mazda Championship Presented by Goodyear continue to add new drivers and grow their grid sizes. This past week, two new drivers were announced, Henrik Furuseth for USF2000 and Ryan Tveter for Star Mazda. Let’s take a look at these two new Mazda Road to Indy drivers.
Ryan Tveter Joins Team GDT in the Star Mazda Championship
Ryan Tveter isn’t precisely new to the Mazda Road to Indy, although he’s not an old veteran, either. He ran in the final USF2000 race last season with Jensen MotorSport on the Streets of Baltimore. He finished the two races that weekend in P10 and P8 out of 19 cars, a record field for newly revived USF2000 series. That’s not too shabby at all, especially when you consider that his competitors had a full season’s worth of experience in the USF2000 Championship class cars, and that not only was this his only race of the season, it was Jensen MotorSport’s only race in the USF2000 series that season as well. So for a first time driver and team to come to a challenging circuit and compete against a record field and still get two top-10 finishes, I say it was a job well done! Now Ryan will move up to the more higher horsespower, rotary driven Star Mazda machines. It will be interesting to see how he is able to transition to the very different type of feel the Star Mazda car has as compared to the USF2000 car.
While he won’t participate in the Star Mazda open test at the Barber Motorsports Park, he did have a private test at Eagle Canyon Raceway in Decatur, Texas. He did well enough to impress race engineer Remi Lanteigne, and that’s no small feat given the talent Lanteigne has seen and worked with in his career as an engineer!
“We were smiling ear to ear after that test. Ryan is very technically oriented, hardworking and eager to learn. He’s very smart, and I’m anxious to see how far we can go.” — Remi Lanteigne, Chief Technical Officer for Jensen MotorSport
Ryan will start the season on the Streets of St. Petersburg at the end of March, but will have to miss the Barber, Indianapolis, and late June (perhaps Iowa?) race due to his school commitments. In support to his racing and racecraft, Ryan is passionate about physics and mechanical engineering. Two fields that certainly get my vote of approval, and they will certainly assist his growth as a technical racer.
“Racing has always been my passion. My goal this year is to learn as much as I can and to be in the top 10 as much as possible. A podium or a win would be great, but it’s a very competitive series and I’m a rookie. I’m really looking forward to being part of Team GDT and working with Remi this year. I’m confident of meeting both my own goals and the expectations of our marketing partners. We plan to have some announcements on those programs soon.” — Ryan Tveter, #33 Team GDT
You can follow Ryan’s progress through the season and find out more information about his unique schooling environment, his experience as a hockey goalie and more on his website, www.RyanTveter.com. You can follow him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RyanTveter, on Twitter @RyanTveter, and be sure to check out his videos on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/RyanTveter.
Cape Motorsports Signs Norwegian Henrik Furuseth and Joins the USF2000 National Class Championship
As if it wasn’t enough that Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing wasn’t annihilating the competition in the Championship Class with it’s trio of drivers, Spencer Pigot, Matthew Brabham, and Trent Hindman, they now have a fourth driver, Norwegian Henrik Furuseth, to drive a Formula Enterprise car in the National Class.
“We are extremely excited to have Henrik as part of our assault on the USF2000 Championships, Henrik tested with us in2012 as part of ABK and was on the pace immediately. The National class utilizing the SCCA FE car and regulations is the perfect platform for the young guns of tomorrow to learn their trade on the first rung of the Mazda Road to Indy ladder.” — Henrik Furuseth
Henrick got his start in racing competing in karting in 2007 in his home country of Norway running the Formula Micro karts and eventually ending up racing in the KF3 class in 2009, finishing 5th out of 26 karters in the Norwegian Cup. In 2010, he moved up to racing cars competing in the Formula Basic Norwegian Cup, a FF series using a Van Diemen chassis where he finished 3rd in the championship in his rookie year. Last year, he would improve on that and take the championship title.
Now he moves to the USF2000 to compete in a winged car for the first time. It will be interesting to see how he adapts to the different style of racing. He certainly has one of the best teams in USF2000 behind him, so look for him to be a serious challenger for the National Class title this season.