White Tests Firestone Indy Lights Car With RLR/Andersen Racing at Mid-Ohio
PALMETTO, Fla., Sept. 26 - The 2009 Firestone Indy Lights season finale is still two weeks away, but RLR/Andersen Racing recently conducted a test at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio for Ron White, a driver who hopes to raise enough funding to compete in that series next year.
White, 28, of San Jose, Calif., successfully completed approximately 200 miles of testing on Mid-Ohio's 2.258-mile, 13-turn road course in one of the Palmetto, Fla.-based team's Firestone Indy Lights cars. It was White's first full-day road-course test in a Firestone Indy Lights car, although he passed the series' oval-track test at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Fla. in January 2007 with Michael Crawford Motorsports and also ran about a dozen laps on that facility's road course at that time.
Mario Romancini of Miami, Fla. and Sao Paulo, Brazil will represent RLR/Andersen Racing at the 2009 season finale on Homestead's 1.5-mile oval on Friday, Oct. 9, as he's done all year. He's currently seventh in the overall point standings for the Firestone Firehawk Cup and third in the Mesco Building Solutions Rookie of the Year standings, and he hopes to continue to race in America in 2010. Live coverage of the 67-lap Homestead finale is planned for VERSUS and indycar.com at 6 p.m. Eastern.
White said the test was a good opportunity to gain seat time in a Firestone Indy Lights car, and he's hopeful he can put together a program for 2010.
"We had a good test; the weather was on our side and I was excited to work with Andersen Racing for the first time," White said. "I'd like to thank the team for the opportunity to gain some of the knowledge and experience that I'll need to compete in Firestone Indy Lights next year. I look forward to working with them again. The team was very organized and everyone worked very well together. They were very friendly to me as well.
"The car had good power and it was fun to drive," White added.
Team co-owner John Andersen was also very pleased with the test. "Ron adapted well to the car, and as the day progressed his times got better and better," he said. "We shared the day with some other drivers who had more experience in a Firestone Indy Lights car, and Ron ran competitive times. I think he learned a lot, and we were very pleased with him and how he handled himself in the car."
Andersen said the team would conduct more tests in November after the 2009 season finale at Homestead.
Walter Preston, RLR/Andersen Racing's technical director, was pleased with White's test too. "Ron adapted nicely, never put a wheel wrong, and we covered all his objectives for an introduction to Firestone Indy Lights," he said. "After a night to reflect on the test I'm sure when he tests again he will be able to be even more competitive. He was a pleasure to work with, and very professional."
"Walt was a good engineer to work with, as he would explain what changes he was going to be making to the car before he would change it," White said. "Before the test I told him I wanted to learn as much as I could about how each change we made would affect the car. He did a good job explaining things to help me get a better understanding of how the team arrives at the set-ups it uses."
White is looking for marketing partners in order to contest the entire 13-race 2010 Firestone Indy Lights schedule, which can be found at firestoneindylights.com.
White competed in the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear in 2006 and 2007, finishing third in that series two years ago with victories at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis. and the Trois-Rivieres street circuit in Trois-Rivieres, Quebec. Three years ago this weekend he posted his third consecutive victory of the 2006 Star Mazda season when he won that series' race at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Ga., enroute to a fifth-place finish in the final point standings that year. Andersen Racing fielded Star Mazda cars for four different drivers at Road Atlanta yesterday: Conor Daly, Joel Miller, Richard Kent and Denis Navarro. All finished in the top seven, and Daly was on the podium. The team is the defending Star Mazda team champion.
For more information on Andersen Racing, which is sponsored by Allied Interior Products and Lafarge North America and offers programs in karting in addition to Star Mazda and Firestone Indy Lights, see its Web site at andersenracingteam.com. For more information on its 1-mile road course test track in Palmetto, Fla., see andersenracepark.com. Its karting team's new Web site is located at andersenkarting.com.
White also has an impressive karting background. He became the first American to win a round of the European karting championship in 28 years when he was victorious in Sarno, Italy in 2004. He also was very successful in the U.S. Formula 2000 National Championship presented by Cooper Tires.
White's Web site, which is undergoing updating, is located at ronwhiteracing.com.