OYSTER BAY, N.Y. — Impressed by Ryan Tveter’s performance during his rookie season of Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup (NEC) competition last year, Josef Kaufmann Racing has signed the young American to join its team for that series and the series one step above it, Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup in 2014.
Tveter, 19, of Oyster Bay, N.Y. and Zurich, Switzerland, had two top-five finishes in NEC action last year, even though the series, the team he was running with and all the tracks were new to him. Josef Kaufmann, owner of Josef Kaufmann Racing, was watching and liked what he saw at those events and in post-season testing with his team, which is based in Wolsfeld, Germany.
Kaufmann is a self-made man who started as a racing mechanic in his teens, raced successfully himself in Formula V, Formula Super V and Formula 3, and then fulfilled another dream when he became a team owner in 1982. Since then Josef Kaufmann Racing has prepared cars for many young drivers who went on to become stars, including names like Gerhard Berger, Arie Luyendyk, Frank Biela, Wolf Henzler, Timo Scheider, Esteban Gutierrez, Sebastian Buemi and Nico Hulkenberg.
After earning many championships in Formula BMW, Josef Kaufmann Racing entered the Eurocup Series for the first time in 2011 and won the championship with Robin Frijns. It then repeated as champion the following year with Stoffel Vandoorne. It finished fifth in that series last year, and also won four NEC races.
Tveter finished ninth out of 40 drivers in his rookie season in NEC last year. He is currently competing with Giles Motorsports in the Toyota Racing Series (TRS) in New Zealand, where he drives the Game Ready Injury Treatment System/Autobau No. 4.
“I’m excited to be joining such a well-respected team as Josef Kaufmann Racing,” Tveter said. “Kaufmann’s’ intensity, passion and focus is incredible. JKR is a hard-core, experienced team with an amazing track record as well as a significant number of drivers in F1. I’m really proud to have earned a seat at JKR and am very excited to contest two championships with them in 2014. It’s going to be a very busy and exciting year.”
“We were really impressed with Ryan’s great progress over the season and the speed, professional attitude and work ethic that he showed us in testing,” said Lars Kaufmann, team manager. “We look for drivers who have not just the talent to go all the way, but those who also demonstrate the discipline, independence and intellectual ability required to get there. We have high expectations for Ryan as a member of the JKR team.”