Andersen Racing to Enter Indy Pro Series in 2007
FAIRFIELD, N.J., Sept. 1 - Dan Andersen, a key player in American formula car racing for almost 20 years as a series administrator and team owner, announced today that his team, Andersen Racing, will enter the Indy Racing League's Indy Pro Series in 2007.
The Fairfield, N.J.-based team will also continue to field multiple entries in the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear. Participation in the Formula BMW USA and/or the Hankook Tires Formula Ford 2000 Series are also in the works for 2007, Andersen said.
"We want to provide rising stars with a tiered support-series approach to fully prepare them for a career in the Indy Racing League or the Champ Car World Series," Andersen said. "We are excited to be moving up the ladder as a team, and we believe we have the experience, the personnel and the work ethic to be successful."
Andersen has ordered a new Dallara for the 2007 Indy Pro Series and anticipates acquiring a second car later in the fall. Delivery on the first car is expected by Sept. 10.
Andersen is interviewing drivers for all of the team's programs in 2007. He is also exploring the possibilities of having his team become affiliated with a current IRL Indy Car team, a practice the IRL promotes through testing incentives.
"We're absolutely delighted that Andersen Racing is entering the Indy Pro Series," said Roger Bailey, the series' executive director. "We are especially pleased that a top team from the junior formula car ranks is making this step. We feel this is further proof that our rules package and the prize money we offer are very appealing to teams, and will only continue to make our car count increase."
Andersen has a long history of preparing cars that win races and helping to develop drivers for careers as professional racers. The drivers who won the last three Indy 500s - Sam Hornish Jr., Dan Wheldon and Buddy Rice - all competed in the U.S. Formula Ford 2000 series while Andersen was that series' administrator. Along with Mike Foschi, Andersen Racing's current director of business development, Andersen founded the FF2000 series in 1991 and guided it for 10 years.
Last year Andersen Racing fielded cars in the Star Mazda series for Graham Rahal, Jonathan Klein, Robbie Pecorari and Pablo Donoso. Klein is currently second in the 2006 Indy Pro Series point standings driving for Andretti Green Racing. Rahal and Pecorari are both competing in the Champ Car Atlantic Championship, where Rahal is currently second in points. Donoso has been racing the new-generation USAC Silver Crown cars.
So far this year Andersen Racing has fielded Star Mazda cars for Gerardo Bonilla, Ramiro Scuncio, Brad Jaeger, Doug Prendeville and Phil Saville. The team has also been competing in the Hankook Formula 2000 series and SCCA national events with Mike Andersen, the 1999, 2001 and 2003 SCCA Formula Continental national champion and Dan's son; and top Northeast SCCA Formula Continental racer Scott Willard.
The Indy Pro Series is the only support series to compete at both the Indianapolis 500 and the U.S. Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS). Although 2007 will mark the first time one of his cars will compete at the most famous racetrack in the world, it is certainly not the first time that drivers Andersen has worked with have competed at the Brickyard.
In addition to current IRL stars Hornish, Wheldon and Rice, Rahal and Klein raced there this year in the Indy Pro Series, and Pecorari and Rahal competed there last year in Formula BMW action. Other drivers Andersen worked with while they were honing their craft in the U.S. Formula Ford 2000 series who went on to race at IMS include Jeff Simmons, Robby McGehee, Steve Knapp, Jeret Schroeder, Sam Schmidt, Jim Guthrie and Cory Witherill. Other drivers he worked with became stars of endurance sports car racing, such as Andy Lally, Duncan Dayton, Memo Gidley and Mike Borkowski, to name a few.
William Paul, who worked with Danica Patrick at Rahal Letterman Racing, is Andersen Racing's crew chief. He oversees both the shop and on-track operations.
The team is an equal-opportunity employer, and several women hold important positions there. Michelle Kish is the overall team manager. Rossella Manfrinato, who worked as the technical support person and liaison engineer for Dallara in the Indy Pro Series in 2002, 2003 and 2004, is one of its engineers. At the team's last event, the Star Mazda race at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis., there were more than 20 people working on the team in support of four cars driven by Bonilla, Scuncio, Saville and Donoso.
In addition to the racing team, Dan Andersen also heads a $40 million-per-year contracting business he founded in New Jersey in 1974.
More information on the team may be obtained on its Web site at andersenracingteam.com. More information on the Indy Pro Series may be found at indyracing.com; the Star Mazda series at starmazda.com; the Formula BMW series at formulabmwusa.com and the F2000 series at F2000series.com.