Andersen Racing Purchases Test Track in Florida
PALMETTO, Fla., Nov. 6 - Andersen Racing now has its very own test track.
Andersen Racing owners Dan and John Andersen announced today that they've purchased the former Group Four Test Track in Palmetto, Fla. The facility, which features a 1-mile road course, has been renamed Andersen RacePark to reflect its new ownership.
The 18-acre facility is located at 10101 U.S. Highway 41 North in Palmetto. It is just a 15-minute drive from either St. Petersburg or Sarasota, so testing can be conducted virtually year-round in the Florida sunshine. It includes an 8,000-square-feet shop that will be the new home of the team's Indy Pro Series, Star Mazda and F2000 cars. Two dozen additional garages are also located adjacent to pit lane.
Indy Pro Series rules do not permit testing at tracks that are unapproved by that series. The new owners do plan to test their Star Mazda and F2000 cars at Andersen RacePark as much as possible, within those two series' testing guidelines and their own budgetary constraints.
The public is invited to visit the facility at an open house on Saturday, Dec. 8 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
The track is already a favorite of kart racers, other teams in various series that wish to conduct private test sessions, and amateurs participating in formula car "arrive-and-drive" programs.
Dan Andersen said that the purchase makes sense on many levels for the team, which has been fielding multiple entries in the Indy Pro Series, the Star Mazda series and the F2000 Championship from its headquarters in Fairfield, N.J. Its Indy Pro Series team is the official development team of Rahal Letterman Racing.
"We can now consolidate our three teams in one building," he pointed out. "The shop space is perfect for our needs, and I can see our efficiency as a team increasing greatly. The Indy Pro Series team is already operating out of the facility. Our F2000 team will relocate there next, probably in late November, followed by the Star Mazda team in early January. Team manager Michelle Kish is relocating to the Tampa area, as are all of our other New Jersey-based employees."
Florida's climate was definitely a selling point. "With the warm climate, our winter testing program both at our own race track and at other tracks in the South will benefit," Andersen pointed out. "Depending on the particular series' rules we'll be able to test more often, and there is no substitute for seat time. Scheduling test days for the Star Mazda and F2000 cars will be easier and less expensive, and we won't lose time traveling."
Andersen is most excited, however, about the synergies that may develop from the karters who already test there, since Andersen Racing's mission is to provide one solid home and the best training available for future open-wheel stars.
"We're excited about this acquisition, as it fits our team's vision perfectly," he said. "Young karters at our facility will be exposed to our three race teams, which will give them access to our personnel in an almost campus atmosphere," he noted. "On the other side of the coin, our people will be able to observe first-hand karting talent at Andersen RacePark for possible future driver openings. We feel Andersen RacePark will benefit everyone."
Work on the track's new Web site has begun at andersenracepark.com. Announcements regarding track testing opportunities and karting and garage rentals will be made shortly. Information on the team itself can be found on its Web site at andersenracingteam.com or by calling its New Jersey office at (973) 287-5600.