Nick Andries - 2011 Star Mazda Season Preview
Starting the season in front of friends and family will be great, not to mention being able to sleep in my own bed.
Clearwater, Fla., March 21 - After competing in select events in 2010, Nick Andries heads into his first full season of the Star Mazda Championship Presented by Goodyear with a new team, high expectations and at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, a bit of a home field advantage.
Andries, from nearby Pinellas Park, Fla., teams with last year's Star Mazda Rookie of the Year Connor De Phillippi at Team Pelfrey Racing. Both drivers come from similar racing backgrounds; karting followed by Skip Barber regional racing and the BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National, where De Phillippi was the 2009 champion and Andries finished sixth in the 2010 championship with one win.
“My family has been friends with (team owner) Dale Pelfrey since my karting days”, noted Andries. “Dale sponsored me last season in the Skip Barber National Series and the 10 Star Mazda races I ran with Anderson Racing.”
Andries made his Star Mazda debut in the streets of St. Pete; his early exit in the race was a preview of the steep learning curve to follow.
“Last year St. Petersburg was going to be a one-off, so there wasn’t any opportunity to test. As we added races, my seat time was restricted to the official sessions at each track. This year, we’ve already tested the car several times, including the official test at Barber Motorsports Park.”
At this year’s Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, Andries is not only returning to a track he has raced at in Star Mazda, he’s doing so in front of a home crowd.
“Starting the season in front of friends and family will be great, not to mention being able to sleep in my own bed.”
While new to the Star Mazda grid, Team Pelfrey comes from a great open wheel racing tradition, having fielded cars in the IZOD IndyCar Series from 1998-2000 with drivers including Robbie Unser, Danny Ongais and John Paul, Jr., who led 39 laps in the 1998 Indianapolis 500. Team owner Dale Pelfrey has assembled an impressive program to challenge for this season’s Star Mazda championship.
“Dale has put together a great team and he has confidence in our ability to get the job done at a high level. My goal for this season is to challenge for podiums and ultimately for wins.”
-source: nick andries PR