USF team to test at Andersen RacePark

University of South Florida Formula SAE Team To Test at Andersen RacePark on Wednesday PALMETTO, Fla., Dec. 17 - Dan and John Andersen have owned Andersen RacePark for a little more than a month, but they've already proven they're a...

University of South Florida Formula SAE Team To Test at Andersen RacePark on Wednesday

PALMETTO, Fla., Dec. 17 - Dan and John Andersen have owned Andersen RacePark for a little more than a month, but they've already proven they're a great addition to the Tampa/St. Petersburg/Sarasota area by agreeing to help some local college students.

The Andersen brothers, who also own a top formula car team that competes professionally as Andersen Racing and RLR/Andersen Racing, have agreed to allow the University of South Florida's Formula SAE team to test at their 1-mile road course test track in Palmetto, Fla. this Wednesday, Dec. 19.

The test is open to the public.

Formula SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) competition provides an arena for engineering students to conceive, design, fabricate and compete with formula-style and Baja-style race cars. The Tampa-based University of South Florida team has been participating in the program for four years, designing and building its cars on campus. Last year its Baja SAE car was scored first in the nation in a three-race series.

Andersen Racing recently moved its headquarters from Fairfield, N.J. to Andersen RacePark in Palmetto, an 18-acre facility that includes a 1-mile test track. The team fields multiple entries in the F2000 Championship Series, Star Mazda and the Indy Pro Series. It is the official development team of IndyCar team Rahal Letterman Racing (RLR), owned by Indy 500, Daytona 24-Hour and Sebring 12-Hour winner Bobby Rahal and late night talk show host David Letterman.

Three of the university's mechanical engineering students - junior Joe Elder, freshman Simon Restrepo and sophomore Solomon Kang - attended Andersen RacePark's open house on Dec. 8 to meet the Andersens and explore the idea of testing their Formula SAE and Baja SAE cars there. The Andersens and team manager Michelle Kish were quick to agree to help. The students will work on both their Baja SAE SF-B7 and their Formula SAE SF-F4 at the track before testing both race cars on the road course, located at 10101 U.S. Highway 41 North.

The test will be very beneficial preparation for the students' two Formula SAE races April 23-26 at VIRginia International Raceway and May 14-17 at Michigan International Speedway. They're also readying their Baja SAE car for three races, the first of which is slated for an off-road course in Cookville, Tenn. May 1-3.

Meanwhile, Andersen Racing is also preparing for the 2008 season.

Its Star Mazda cars will be in action at Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Fla. on March 14 as a support event to the Twelve Hours of Sebring. The RLR/Andersen Racing Indy Pro Series cars are slated to open their season March 29 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Fla., before competing on the streets of St. Petersburg on April 5-6 as part of the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

The team's F2000 cars don't have an event in Florida in 2008 but they'll be testing at Sebring Jan. 7-8, as will the team's Star Mazda cars. The Indy Pro Series will also test at Sebring on Jan. 24-25.

For more information on Andersen Racing and Andersen RacePark, see andersenra cingteam.com and andersenracepark.com. For more information on the University of South Florida's Formula SAE team, see saedev.eng.usf.edu.

-credit: arp

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