Andersen Racing Trains Stars of Tomorrow
INDIANAPOLIS, May 4 - As the Indianapolis Motor Speedway opens its gates to start its traditional month of May activities, Andersen Racing is leading the point standings in two of the three support series in which it competes, and it has drivers in second- and third-place in the other one.
The Palmetto, Fla.-based team, which is sponsored by Allied Building Products Corp., strives to offer the best training future Indy 500 drivers can obtain anywhere.
Led by brothers Dan and John Andersen, the team fields cars for 11 different drivers. It is the development team for IndyCar's Rahal Letterman Racing. Graham Rahal was one of Andersen Racing's Star Mazda drivers in 2005.
John Andersen manages RLR/Andersen Racing's two-car Firestone Indy Lights team. The driver of one of those cars, J.R. Hildebrand, a native of Sausalito, Fla., is the Firestone Indy Lights point leader heading into the Freedom 100 at IMS on Friday, May 23 with RLR/Andersen Racing's Allied Building Products No. 25. A rookie in the series, he is the only Firestone Indy Lights driver to finish in the top 10 in every race so far this year. He won the series' most recent event at Kansas Speedway on April 27, which was only his second oval-track race ever.
The team's other Firestone Indy Lights driver, Andrew Prendeville of Las Vegas, driver of the Best Friends Animal Society No. 5, finished fourth in the Freedom 100 last year. A native of Chatham Township, N.J., he ran as high as second in that event and set the fastest lap of the race by running even faster than the speed that won the pole.
Hildebrand was second fastest at the Firestone Indy Lights open test at IMS on April 11, while Prendeville was third, just 0.0550 of a second behind.
Andersen Racing drivers Anders Krohn and Jonny Baker are first and second, respectively, in the F2000 Championship Series heading into its third and fourth races of the year May 9-10 at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Ga. Both are rookies in that series.
Krohn, of Sandnes, Norway, won both of the F2000 races at VIRginia International Raceway in Alton, Va., on April 19-20. Baker, of Farnham Common, Buckinghamshire, England, was second in both events. Each won a pole and each came away with a new track record. Baker now holds the series' qualifying track record, while Krohn set a new track record for fastest race lap.
Other Andersen Racing F2000 drivers who are determined to move up in the point standings at Road Atlanta include Ricardo Vassmer of Caracas, Venezuela and Coral Springs, Fla.; Doug Prendeville of Whippany, N.J. (Andrew's older brother); and Scott Willard of Weston, Conn.
Andersen Racing is Van Diemen's factory team in that series.
The middle rung on Andersen Racing's development ladder is the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear, where Andersen Racing has assembled an international roster of four drivers. One of them, Charles Hall of Sheffield, England, finished second in the season opener at Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Fla., in March. Peter Dempsey of Ashbourne, County Meath, Ireland, was right behind him in third place to give Andersen Racing the majority of the podium positions.
Andersen Racing's Tom Gladdis, who lives in Gibraltar, is fifth in the current point standings heading into the Star Mazda race Saturday, May 17 at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah. He set the fastest race lap at the season opener.
The team's only female driver, Juliana Gonzalez of Mexico City, Mexico, was involved in an accident at the Star Mazda season opener but is expected to rebound solidly in Utah.
A fifth Star Mazda driver, Valle Makela of Laitila, Finland, plans to join the team for three races later this year.
"I really want to be leading the point standings at the end of the season rather than in the spring, but I'm very pleased with our results so far," said Andersen Racing co-owner Dan Andersen. "I'm very proud of everyone on our team. I feel we have a solid roster of drivers, engineers, mechanics and support personnel."
"I'm really looking forward to the Freedom 100," added John Andersen, the other team co-owner. "IMS is the pinnacle of open-wheel racing, and to go there with the series points lead is something special. Both of our drivers are very comfortable on this track, so I look for great things from our team."
For more information, see andersenracingteam.com.
The team has a 1-mile road course at its headquarters in Palmetto, Fla., called Andersen RacePark. It is very popular for testing and for karting. For more information on the track, see andersenracepark.com.
RLR/Andersen Racing personnel who will be in action at the Freedom 100 here the week of May 19, and their places of residence, follow (headshots are posted on andersenracingteam.com):
* Andrew Prendeville, driver of the Best Friends Animal Society No. 5: native of Chatham Township, N.J. currently living in Las Vegas.
* J.R. Hildebrand, driver of the Allied Building Products Corp. No. 25, native of Sausalito, Calif. currently living in Indianapolis.
* Dan Andersen, team co-owner: Green Pond, N.J.
* John Andersen, team co-owner and Firestone Indy Lights team manager: Hamburg, N.J. (The Andersens are brothers.)
* Michelle Kish, overall team manager: Palmetto, Fla.
* Dominic Cape, chief engineer: St. Petersburg, Fla. (native of Manchester, Bolton and Blackpool, England.)
* Nicholas Cape, engineer/assistant manager: St. Petersburg, Fla. (native of Manchester, Bolton and Blackpool, England; the Capes are brothers.)
* Jake Ware, data acquisition: Bradenton, Fla.
* William Paul, chief mechanic on Prendeville's car: Bradenton, Fla.
* Sebastian Jubelin, second mechanic on Prendeville's car: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
* Douglas Beaulieu, chief mechanic on Hildebrand's car: Columbus, Ohio
* Francisco Navarro, second mechanic on Hildebrand's car: St. Petersburg, Fla.
* Brandon Deagle, truck driver: St. Petersburg, Fla.
* Lee Orebaugh, spotter for Prendeville's No. 5: Dallas, Texas area.
* Jim Cooper, spotter for Prendeville's No. 5: Ninevah, Ind.
* David Rogers, spotter for Hildebrand's No. 25: Dallas, Texas.
(One additional spotter for Hildebrand will be named later.)