RACE: Valvoline Runoffs: Mike Andersen race report

Andersen wins third National Championship at SCCA Valvoline Runoffs LEXINGTON, OHIO (September 21, 2003) - Mike Andersen, of Green Pond, N.J., won the SCCA Formula Continental National Championship at the 40th annual SCCA Valvoline ...

Andersen wins third National Championship at SCCA Valvoline Runoffs

LEXINGTON, OHIO (September 21, 2003) - Mike Andersen, of Green Pond, N.J., won the SCCA Formula Continental National Championship at the 40th annual SCCA Valvoline Runoffs.

After a one-year hiatus for the birth of his son Erik, Andersen returned to the prestigious Valvoline Runoffs at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, capturing the pole position following three days of qualifying. At the start, the 30 year-old came under heavy attack, with the leaders going three-wide into the first corner. Displaying great car control, Andersen, driving the No. 9 Goodyear/Valvoline Andersen Walko Racing Van Diemen Ford, out-braked the other drivers holding the lead. Once in front, Andersen steadily began to pull away, until a mid-race full-course caution bunched the field back together. On the restart, Andersen maintained the lead, holding off a seven-time national champion. For the remainder of the race, Andersen was unchallenged, winning his third SCCA National Championship (1999, 2001, 2003) by 2.068 seconds. In leading every lap, Andersen has led all forty laps of the past two Valvoline Runoffs he has attended.

"It was a great race," said Andersen, who has the Formula Continental lap record at Mid-Ohio and has started on pole position four times at the Valvoline Runoffs. "It took about two laps for my tires to come in, and when they did I was able to pull away."

"I'm delighted to win my second Runoffs with Mike," said Jon Walko, co-owner and chief engineer of Andersen Walko Racing. "Mike is a very talented driver and fantastic to work with." Walko has now won three Runoffs (Formula Ford in 2000 and Formula Continental 2001 & 2003). In addition, Walko has had three podium finishes.

Know as the Olympics of Motorsports, the SCCA Valvoline Runoffs features over 700 of the best amateur drivers in North America competing in 24 race classes over seven days. The race winners are awarded a gold medal and named the SCCA National Champion. Previous National Champions include Jimmy Vasser, Mark Donohue and Paul Newman.

Created in December of 2001 by the merger of Andersen/Kish Racing and John Walko Racing, Andersen Walko Racing is a team with a rich history of success. Based in Pittsburgh, Pa., Andersen Walko Racing has won the prestigious SCCA Valvoline Runoffs National Championship four times, once in the Formula Ford class and three times in the Formula Continental class. In addition, the team has captured three wins, two pole positions and 16 podium finishes in Formula Ford Zetec Championship competition.

For additional information on Andersen Walko Racing please visit the team website www.andersenwalko.com, or contact Dan Andersen, (973) 244-1900.

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