Andersen Walko Racing Gets Two Seconds At June Sprints Last Weekend ELKHART LAKE, Wis., June 28 - Two second-place finishes at the Kohler June Sprints SCCA Club Racing-Chicago Region national event at Road America here over the weekend...
Andersen Walko Racing Gets Two Seconds At June Sprints Last Weekend
ELKHART LAKE, Wis., June 28 - Two second-place finishes at the Kohler June Sprints SCCA Club Racing-Chicago Region national event at Road America here over the weekend highlighted a very good event for Andersen Walko Racing and its drivers.
Although he was competing in one of seven pro Star Mazda cars against 25 more powerful Formula Atlantic machines in a 55-car field that also included other types of open-wheel cars, Graham Rahal led the Group 4 race Sunday and eventually finished second in the Bobby Rahal Automotive Group No. 12.
Three other AWR drivers in that race - Jonathan Klein, three-time SCCA Formula Continental champion Mike Andersen and Jonathan Klein's older brother, Jason - all finished in the top 10. Jonathan Klein was fifth; Andersen was right behind him in sixth and Jason Klein placed ninth.
Another AWR driver, Tim Dunn, finished second in the Formula Ford event after starting in that spot. It was run as part of a Group 7 race filled with Star Mazda and Formula Mazda cars too for a 40-car field in all.
Dunn's Solon Manufacturing Swift DB6 was just behind the class-winning Citation of John LaRue in that event.
"Overall it was a good team effort," noted Dan Andersen, co-owner of the team, which is based in Fairfield, N.J. and North Versailles, Pa.
"It was two excellent finishes for Graham and Tim towards their participation in the Runoffs in September at Mid-Ohio, and it was good experience for all of our Star Mazda drivers who will be back here at Road America for a pro Star Mazda race on Aug. 20," Andersen said.
"We also rented the track on Wednesday [June 22] as part of our testing program," he continued. "In addition to Graham, Jonathan, Jason and Mike, we had Mike Fitzgerald in a pro Mazda car on Wednesday as well. He recently purchased an ex-Williams Formula 1 car and is doing a vintage race in July, and he wanted to get some seat time prior to that event. The whole test day went very well for all the participants."
The June Sprints went well too. In Group 4, Mike Andersen qualified fourth; Jonathan Klein was sixth; Rahal was seventh and Jason Klein was 13th.
"Graham drove very well and nearly had a win despite the huge disadvantage against the 'real' Atlantic cars," Andersen noted. "Jono [Jonathan Klein] drove well too, and Jason [Klein] impressed us by learning the car quickly. He's Jono's older brother. He has just recently been graduated from college, and he drove SCCA Spec Racers years ago. He was driving his brother's back-up car.
"All our drivers were on slick tires on a drying race track," Andersen continued. "Mike was very cautious on the first lap because of the damp conditions, and he went from third after the first turn back to eighth in one lap. Once he realized the track was dry enough to push harder he made up two spots, but the damage was done."
AWR's four full-season pro Star Mazda drivers - Rahal, Robbie Pecorari, Jonathan Klein and Pablo Donoso - will compete in the fifth pro Star Mazda race of the year Sunday at Pikes Peak International Raceway in Fountain, Colo.