AWR undergoes organizational changes

Andersen Walko Racing Undergoes Organizational Changes FAIRFIELD, N.J., Oct. 31 - Andersen Walko Racing co-owners Dan Andersen and John Walko have restructured some positions within the team, which is widely regarded as one of the best ...

Andersen Walko Racing Undergoes Organizational Changes

FAIRFIELD, N.J., Oct. 31 - Andersen Walko Racing co-owners Dan Andersen and John Walko have restructured some positions within the team, which is widely regarded as one of the best junior-level open-wheel teams in North America.

Veteran team manager Richard Morgan of Richard Morgan Racing has joined the group as general manager, while Michelle Kish has been named team manager. In addition to being a co-owner of the team, Walko will be the engineering director, while Andersen is the managing partner.

Andersen said the moves were made in part so Walko could concentrate on the team's chief engineering duties and not have the burden of also overseeing other aspects of the operation.

"John is one of the best engineers in the business, and we weren't being fair to him to make him carry the other duties on top of overseeing the engineering of all four of our Star Mazda cars this year," Andersen said.

In another effort to improve its operations, the team's shop will move from its current location in North Versailles, Pa. into a bigger facility in Fairfield, N.J., close to the team's offices.

Morgan, a native of Great Britain, has made a career out of mentoring young formula car drivers, which is something in which AWR also excels. An example of Morgan's work can be seen by focusing on the years 1999, 2000 and 2001 on his extensive resume. He helped Steve Rikert finish third in the U.S. Formula Ford 2000 series in 1999; he helped Ian Lacy earn the runner-up spot the following year, and then he won the championship in 2001 with Jason LaPointe.

"I'm pretty excited about going up there and working with them," Morgan said. "I've known Dan and John for a long time, and I've worked with them on and off. I hope I can do what they're expecting me to do."

Kish has resigned from her current full-time position with the Formula Ford Zetec series in order to accept her new position at AWR starting this week. The Haledon, N.J. resident worked with the team in the same capacity on a part-time basis in the second half of the 2005 season and found that she enjoyed the challenge very much.

"The team side was a new challenge for me, so this was an offer I couldn't pass up," Kish said.

Andersen Walko Racing has been a top team in both the Formula Ford Zetec series and the Star Mazda championship presented by Goodyear for the past three years. It will field a car for Brad Jaeger in the Star Mazda series next year, and expects to announce additional drivers for that series soon. The team is testing five other drivers this week for possible rides in 2006.

AWR fielded Star Mazda cars for Robbie Pecorari, Graham Rahal, Pablo Donoso and Jonathan Klein in 2005, among others.

Andersen also hinted that the team may expand into the Menards Infiniti Pro series or the Atlantic series next year.

-wsr-

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Series Pro Mazda
Drivers Graham Rahal , Robbie Pecorari , Brad Jaeger , Pablo Donoso , Jonathan Klein , Ian Lacy