AWR's Barber Motorsports Park test notes

AWR Concludes Successful Test At Barber Motorsports Park FAIRFIELD, N.J., Dec. 19 - Andersen Walko Racing, which finished second and fourth in the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear this year and second and third in the Formula Ford...

AWR Concludes Successful Test At Barber Motorsports Park

FAIRFIELD, N.J., Dec. 19 - Andersen Walko Racing, which finished second and fourth in the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear this year and second and third in the Formula Ford Zetec championship last year, will once again be gunning for the Star Mazda championship in 2006.

In an effort to reach that goal the Fairfield, N.J.-based team has been conducting an aggressive pre-season testing schedule that included a stop at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala. recently.

The team, which is based in Fairfield, N.J., ran three Star Mazda cars at the test that were driven by Brad Jaeger, Gerardo Bonilla and Jon Brownson. Jaeger and Bonilla have already signed with the team to compete in the 2006 Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear.

"Brad and Gerardo's test went very well," said Dan Andersen, the team's managing partner. "I'm very pleased to see excellent progress in the way the drivers are working with their respective engineers and lead mechanics. I believe that Brad and Gerardo will be pushing each other all season, and that will be good for them both.

"Unfortunately we had some engine problems with Jon's car at the test and he didn't get as many laps as we wanted, but hopefully he enjoyed himself in the time he had," Andersen added.

"The test went really well," Jaeger said. "It's a fun track for the Mazdas. There are a lot of fast corners, and it gives you a good workout.

"It's exciting to see the team come together," Jaeger added. "We've been getting to know the people who we'll be working with next year. Having that rapport and communication is very important. I'm very pleased with how everything is coming together."

"Testing at Barber Motorsports Park was the true beginning of the 2006 Star Mazda season," said Bonilla. "We went straight to work building relationships and developing my understanding of the setup process. I'm pleased the team is pushing me to raise my game, because that's exactly what I need this year. Although we won't be racing at Barber, the corner types and elevations will be seen again. We had zero car problems, which reinforces that my crew knows what it's doing."

The team will also test at Sebring (Fla.) International Raceway immediately after the New Year's Day holiday.

Andersen Walko Racing, which is based in Fairfield, N.J., fielded cars for four drivers in the series last year and it ended the season with 75 percent of its drivers in the top 10 and half of them in the top four. One of them, Robbie Pecorari of Aston, Pa., finished second in the overall point standings and earned the series' Rookie of the Year award. Another, Graham Rahal of New Albany, Ohio, became the youngest driver to ever win a pro Star Mazda race.

All of the Star Mazda races are televised on SPEED.

-awr-

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About this article
Series Pro Mazda
Drivers Graham Rahal , Jon Brownson , Robbie Pecorari , Brad Jaeger , Gerardo Bonilla