Prendeville, Bonilla and Scuncio to Represent Andersen Racing This Weekend in Utah TOOELE, Utah, July 11 - Doug Prendeville, Gerardo Bonilla and Ramiro Scuncio will represent Andersen Racing in Round Six of the Star Mazda Championship presented...
Prendeville, Bonilla and Scuncio to Represent Andersen Racing This Weekend in Utah
TOOELE, Utah, July 11 - Doug Prendeville, Gerardo Bonilla and Ramiro Scuncio will represent Andersen Racing in Round Six of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear this weekend as the series makes its first visit to the brand-new Miller Motorsports Park here for the Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix.
Saturday afternoon's 45-minute race supports Saturday night's American Le Mans Series (ALMS) headliner.
Crew members who usually work on Brad Jaeger's Andersen Racing entry will be supporting Prendeville at this weekend's race. Jaeger is recuperating from injuries sustained in the Star Mazda race in Montreal June 24, but the Cincinnati-based driver hopes to be back in competition for Round Seven of the championship July 22 at Portland International Raceway in Portland, Ore.
It would be natural to conclude that Prendeville is stepping into Jaeger's car this weekend in Utah, but actually that's not the case. Jaeger's car is in the team transporter and ready for him to drive at Portland, but it's not being used this weekend. Instead, Prendeville will drive the car that Bonilla was victorious in at the season opener in Sebring, Fla. in March. What's more, that's been Prendeville's car all along. The Morristown, N.J.-based driver has been a close supporter of the team for many years, and he routinely leases the car to the team for various drivers to use. Bonilla will be back in it at Portland.
Team owner Dan Andersen noted that Prendeville had an excellent track record when he was driving for him in the Formula Ford 2000 series several years ago. "He has tested in Pro Mazdas over the past couple of years, and we're looking forward to him being a contender right out of the box," Andersen said.
The Andersen Racing entry that Bonilla will drive this weekend in Utah actually belongs to yet another Andersen Racing driver, Phil Saville of Oak Brook, Ill. Saville was originally going to compete in Montreal but he changed those plans and will now start his actual racing at Round Nine of the championship Aug. 19 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis. He's been testing his car regularly, however, in preparation for doing selected events with the Fairfield, N.J.-based team this year and a full season in 2007. He's letting Bonilla drive his car in Utah since the Orlando, Fla.-based driver's regular mount was destroyed in that same big crash in Montreal.
This weekend Prendeville's car will be No. 4, Bonilla will use his regular number, 9, and Scuncio, of Conception, Chile, will be in his usual No. 22.
All three drivers plan to participate in the promoter's test day at the track tomorrow, and along with Saville they all participated in a private team test here last Thursday and Friday too.
Team manager Michelle Kish said that Prendeville wasted no time in getting back into competitive form at the private test. "He had a really good test last Thursday and Friday," she noted. "He said he had a really good time, and by the end of the day on Friday he was happy with what he'd accomplished. He said that those two days were not only helpful as he got reacclimated with the car, but they also helped him learn the course. It's even longer than Road America; it's 4.5 miles long, and it has 24 turns, which take a while to learn. Testing here last week should give our team an advantage over the drivers who will be getting their first laps in here tomorrow during the promoter test day."
After the promoter test day on Wednesday, the first official practice session at Miller Motorsports Park this weekend for the Star Mazda set is slated for 11:15 a.m. on Thursday. Another half-hour of practice is slated for 3 p.m. Thursday.
A third practice session at 10:15 a.m. Friday will be held before the 45-minute qualifying session at 5:15 p.m. Friday. The actual race is slated to get the green flag at 2:45 p.m. Saturday before the ALMS race begins at 6 p.m.
The Star Mazda race from Miller Motorsports Park is slated to be broadcast at 3 p.m. Eastern time July 29 on SPEED. The race from Portland is scheduled to be shown on the same network at 1 p.m. Eastern on Aug. 5.
The Portland schedule shows a promoter test day on Thursday, July 20 followed by two Star Mazda practice sessions at 9 a.m. and 1:25 p.m. on Friday, July 21. Qualifying is at 11:15 a.m. on Saturday, July 22 and the race is slated to start at 3:20 p.m. that afternoon.