Andersen Racing Successfully Hosts Round One of the Florida Karting Championship PALMETTO, Fla., March 17 - Andersen Racing personnel have driven race cars, fielded race cars in many different series, won championships, administered racing...
Andersen Racing Successfully Hosts Round One of the Florida Karting Championship
PALMETTO, Fla., March 17 - Andersen Racing personnel have driven race cars, fielded race cars in many different series, won championships, administered racing series, hosted corporate karting events, run a pro karting shop and conducted training camps for race car drivers. Now the group can add track promoter to its long list of racing accomplishments, as it successfully hosted the first round of the Florida Karting Championships recently at Andersen RacePark, its headquarters in Palmetto, Fla.
"We've staged races as a series administrator before and we run weekly karting test sessions at Andersen RacePark, but this was our first true race as a track promoter," said Michelle Kish, director of operations for Andersen Racing. "We had some rain and cold weather to deal with like all track promoters do eventually, but the whole thing came off without a hitch. I knew we had good people, but I was truly surprised that there really wasn't any major issue that came up. It was awesome!"
"I think we were ready for a lot of the challenges that came up, like the weather on Saturday morning," said her husband, Eddie Kish, Andersen RacePark's manager. "We have one of the hardest-working and dedicated staffs around, so any little issues that may have come up were dealt with quickly. Michelle; Jonny Baker; Roger Morisette and his wife, Angela, and Anders Krohn did a great job.
"I think we provided the racers with a great track, having made some last-minute improvements to the facility," added Eddie Kish, who drove in the event too, finishing tenth in the TAG Seniors final. "A new concrete runoff in Turn 1 allowed for some mistakes that in the past would have ended a competitor's race."
For the record, Nick Rickert took the lead on lap seven and went on to win the 12-lap TAG Seniors final by six-tenths of a second over Greg Gleisner and James Perkins during the two-day event that attracted over 220 entries and about 425 people. The 0.55-mile configuration of the 1-mile road course test track was used for the event, which featured qualifying, a pre-final and a final for 20 different classes.
What lessons were learned?
"Parking was tight and we used all available areas for cars and pit spots," Eddie Kish said. "We will definitely be able to streamline this for next time to allow for more competitors and spectators.
"I would also like to give the spectators some more places to see the action and add some bleachers to give them a place to sit," he added. "We recently fenced off the hill in the hairpin and the last turn, which provided a great place to watch the entire track."
Andersen RacePark, a member of the Manatee Chamber of Commerce, strives to be a positive member of the community. "Plenty of neighbors stopped by to check it out, and all the feedback was very, very positive," Michelle Kish said. "It was great to see the facility being used the way it should be used. Everyone seemed to love it. We got no real complaints. I was very proud of Eddie and our team of people."
"The highlight of the event for me was finally seeing a race here at the track," her husband said. "We have worked very hard since taking over the facility to have an event. The response from the racers and the series was overwhelmingly positive. It was also great to see Seldon Whispel, our oldest karter and a regular at Andersen RacePark, to go out and compete in the Shifter class at age 73!"
One attendee who was not missed with an alligator who used to frequent a holding pond on the property. "We haven't seen him in at least six months, probably more!" Michelle Kish said.
Speaking of animals, Andersen RacePark will host a charity kart event for the Best Friends Animal Society next Wednesday, March 24. Watch for more news on this in the coming days.
"We're working with Manatee County and the local community, and we look forward to holding a Florida Karting Championship Series event in 2011 too," Eddie Kish said. "We're also looking to add a few more smaller race dates.
"In addition to the charity race next Wednesday and weekly open testing, we have lots of different options for anyone looking to come karting at ARP," he added. "We have monthly endurance races and a weekly league in our concession karts. We can also host private and corporate parties."
For more information on Andersen RacePark, see andersenracepark.com. For more information on Andersen Racing's professional karting team, see andersenkarting.com. For more information on Andersen Racing, see andersenracingteam.com.
Next weekend the team will have five Star Mazda cars (driven by Krohn, Grenier, Vautier, Vernon and Nick Andries) and one Firestone Indy Lights car (driven by Carmen Jorda) competing at the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on the street course in that city. The racing team's sister company, Andersen Promotions, will also administer the first two rounds of the USF2000 National Championship presented by Cooper Tires and powered by Mazda during the St. Petersburg event next weekend.
-source: andersen racing