Jimmy Vasser


Record updated 20-Nov-06

Jimmy Vasser made his Champ Car debut in 1992 and in 1996 won the Champ Car Champion, driving for Chip Ganassi. He was at his peak during the CART-IRL 'split' so he didn't get to race in the Indianapolis 500 when he was at his best.

Jimmy Vasser
Jimmy Vasser was born in Canoga Park, California. He is an American racing driver. Vasser was the 1996 Champ Car champion, driving for Chip Ganassi, and has scored ten victories in the category. He won 4 of the first 5 races in 1996 and did enough to maintain a lead in the standings, although rookie team-mate Alex Zanardi outperformed him in the second half of the season, and over the next 2 years.

He had a poor 1999 season teamed with Juan Pablo Montoya, and left the team at the end of 2000, and has had various drives since. In 2004 he became part owner of PKV Racing along with Dan Pettit and Kevin Kalkhoven where he became one of the drivers for the two-car operation.

His participation in the series following the 2006 season-opening Long Beach race is unclear, as PKV Racing has signed 2 full-time drivers. One possibility is that, as only 17 other drivers started each of the first 2 races, he will start the races which require 18 cars due to promotor contracts, as his team co-owner Kalkhoven has a stake in the ChampCar series itself. Also in 2006, Vasser competed in two Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series races, including the 24 Hours of Daytona, driving for GAINSCO/Blackhawk Racing.

Vasser made his Champ Car debut in 1992 and looked set to become a successor to legends such as A.J. Foyt and Rick Mears. Although he did become a top driver, his rise to prominence coincided with the infamous CART-IRL (Indy Racing League) 'split' so Vasser's best years were spent away from the Indianapolis 500, although he has raced in the event on a one-off basis a few times since.