Daniel Erickson to Resume F2000 Campaign at Watkins Glen
Daniel Erickson will be back in action next weekend after a two-month interruption to his American F2000 Championship Series campaign. Lack of funds forced the young Australian driver to sit on the sidelines for the past four rounds of the national series, but now he has scraped together enough money to resume his campaign at Watkins Glen International.
Erickson made a sensational debut in the opening two rounds at Virginia International Raceway back in April. In his first competition drive of a ‘wings and slicks’ racing car, on the unfamiliar 5.3km VIR road course, Erickson qualified on pole position for both rounds, setting a new circuit record in the process.In round one he shadowed winner Victor Carbone across the finish line after mis-timing his first ever race ‘rolling’ start. In round two, he held a commanding lead until three laps from the chequered flag, when a loose spark plug lead dropped his Van Diemen racer to 10th place.
While Erickson hoped to be on the pace at Watkins Glen, he admitted that a repeat of his VIR results was no certainty. “I’ve never been to Watkins Glen, let alone raced there,” he said. “And I’ve missed four rounds of the series, whereas the other guys can only have been getting quicker after racing regularly.”
Erickson acknowledged that a bumper F2000 field at the high-profile IndyCar meeting would make his task at ‘The Glen’ even tougher. “I hear that there could be as many as 40 drivers because the IndyCars are on the program,” he said.
“About the only thing in my favour is that this time I’ll have driven an F2000 car before, which I hadn’t at VIR.
“I’ll be more than happy if I can finish in the top five at Watkins Glen.”
Erickson will hook up with leading F2000 team Quantum Mechanics for his 2010 racing resumption.
Operated out of Oklahoma City, Quantum Mechanics is one of America’s longest established and most respected racecar preparation workshops.
Owners Wendell and Slade Miller have experience in everything from Formula Ford up to IndyCars, and have chalked up more than 30 US regional championships and 150 race wins since 1977.
“It’s reassuring to know that I’ll be driving a car prepared by an organisation with such an impressive track record,” Erickson said.
As at VIR, Erickson’s mount will be a Van Diemen engineered by American motorsport guru Jon Baytos.
Baytos has played a pivotal role in the careers of many young racers, including 2004-5-6 Indianapolis 500 winners Buddy Rice, Dan Wheldon and Sam Hornish Jnr.
“I’m also looking forward to working with Jon again,” Erickson said. “What he doesn’t know about F2000 isn’t worth knowing, and we hit it off really well at VIR.”