Andersen Racing to Field New Kart Team in 2009 PALMETTO, Fla., Nov. 7 - Andersen Racing, the Palmetto, Fla.-based team that offers what many feel is the most comprehensive driver development program in formula car racing, is pleased to announce...
Andersen Racing to Field New Kart Team in 2009
PALMETTO, Fla., Nov. 7 - Andersen Racing, the Palmetto, Fla.-based team that offers what many feel is the most comprehensive driver development program in formula car racing, is pleased to announce that it will expand to field a professional kart team in 2009.
Andersen Racing fielded multiple entries in three different formula car series in 2008. It won team championships in both the F2000 Championship Series and the Star Mazda Championship. One of the 15 drivers it fielded cars for this year also finished fifth in the 2008 Firestone Indy Lights Series.
As part of its development program, the team awards tests at the end of the year to each of its full-season F2000 and Star Mazda drivers. Andersen Racing is also the official development team of Rahal Letterman Racing (RLR), which competes in both the IndyCar Series and the American Le Mans Series (ALMS).
Andersen Racing is sponsored by Allied Building Products Corporation.
The new kart team will operate under the Andersen Racing name and will be located at the team headquarters at Andersen RacePark, an 18-acre facility between St. Petersburg, Fla. and Sarasota, Fla. that includes a 1-mile road course test track that is already very popular with karters. Co-owner Dan Andersen said the team will field up to eight karts in the Junior and Senior ranks.
Michelle Kish will be the overall team manager. Directing the kart team will be a father and son, Barry and Brian Fletcher of Palm Harbor, Fla. Prior to joining Andersen Racing they have been operating their own kart team, Tuff Racing. Andersen said he expects to announce a relationship with a major kart chassis manufacturer shortly, along with several other partnerships dealing with engines, tires, etc. Driver signings are expected to be announced soon too.
"Initially we will contest the Daytona Kart Week WKA event Dec. 27-30, the Florida Winter Tour events, and selected Rotax races and local area events," Andersen said. "Eventually we plan to compete nationally in the Snap-On Stars of Karting events as well.
"With our already established open-wheel ladder in place, I am very pleased to add this team and complete our connection to the karting ranks, where so many open-wheel racers begin and gain such valuable seat time and racing experience," Andersen added. "With our own excellent track in Florida and the resources of our pro teams available on site, it is a natural for us to take this step. We expect to field competitive karts with talented, career-minded drivers."
Barry Fletcher is an official with the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA), which sanctions the Star Mazda events in which Andersen Racing competes, along with several other series. He is also the vice president of the Tri-City Kart Club based in St. Petersburg, Fla.
"Andersen Racing does things right; it should be a good marriage," he said. "Andersen Racing is the first team from the major leagues to step into karting to field a team. There are some drivers who dabble in both, but this is the first formula car team to compete in karting full-time too. We hope it's a great first step on the ladder for them. A lot of good drivers have come out of Florida karting. We look forward to the challenge."
His son, Brian, has been a kart driver since the age of 6 and has won Rotax Series championships. He's been concentrating on tuning karts and coaching others for the last few years. He worked in the past for Birel/MRP, CRG/Evolution Karting and Gillard/Screaming Talent. He has had great success with kart drivers Chris Larson, Keith Spicer, Mikey Giessen and Spencer Pigot.
"With the Andersen family's backing and their professionalism and our standards in karting, I think this is going to be big," he said. "The proof will be in the pudding, but I think whoever comes on with us will be amazed with our quality of work and services."
For more information see andersenracingteam.com and andersenracepark.com.