Another Andretti Takes a Skip Barber Title LIME ROCK, Conn. (Oct. 7) Marco Andretti of Nazareth, Pa., clinched the 14-race Skip Barber 2.0- liter Formula Dodge Eastern Region championship during the season finale at Lime Rock Park after taking...
Another Andretti Takes a Skip Barber Title
LIME ROCK, Conn. (Oct. 7) Marco Andretti of Nazareth, Pa., clinched the 14-race Skip Barber 2.0- liter Formula Dodge Eastern Region championship during the season finale at Lime Rock Park after taking a flag-to-flag win over his two closest title contenders. The rookie's victory in the first of two championship-deciding races this past weekend gave the 16-year-old son of Michael Andretti enough points to secure the title before Race Two on Saturday. Andretti crashed in the rain in the second race, but by then it was too late for Peter Ludwig of New Paltz, N.Y., and Tom Sands of New Canaan, Conn., who finished second and third in the championship.
Andretti won eight times in 14 starts, and finished on the podium five other times to finish with 239 points. Third-year man Ludwig (this year's Most Improved Driver) scored six wins and 215 points, while Sands (same honor in 2002) scored three wins and 201 points.
"This was fantastic, a really great season. The instructors taught me so much, I really couldn't have done any of this without them," the youngster said, somewhat uncomfortable under the spotlight during the awards banquet Saturday evening as he learns what it feels like to be a rising star. Since the season- opener at Lime Rock Park in late April, either Dad Michael or Grandpa Mario made it to many of the race weekends, and Michael said, "I am extremely proud of the job Marco did in the very competitive Skip Barber Series. The experience Marco is getting is invaluable, and at the age of 16, he is already two years ahead of where I was at his age!" Mom Sandra was at the banquet with a huge smile and thanked "everybody at Skip Barber for helping make this happen."
A multiple regional karting champion, Marco is formally climbing the CART-Champ Car Ladder System, having starred in the Stars of Tomorrow karting series last year and this. Jeff Andretti -- Michael's brother, and the Eastern Region champion exactly 20 years ago -- has been Marco's primary chaperone and advisor this year and told the Skip Barber Race Series organizers that "Marco is definitely entering the Formula Dodge National Championship (FDNC) Presented by RACER" in 2004, adding that Marco's Eastern Region Skip Barber title "is a huge deal." In a one-off to prepare for next year, Marco will compete in the 2003 FDNC season finale this weekend (Oct. 10-12) at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Notes: It was also revealed this weekend that IRL star Tony Kanaan and fellow Brazilian and F1 leading light Rubens Barrichello asked Marco to complete the three-man team that's competing in a prestigious charity endurance karting event in Sao Paulo Nov. 8... Marco joins the growing list (going back 20+ years) of Andrettis -- Michael, John, Jeff and Adam -- whose fathers chose to send their kids to Skip Barber for race schooling and race series competition... There were a total of 19 Andretti-family members at the Eastern Region banquet Saturday night, most of whom had to leave immediately afterward to get home to help celebrate Michael Andretti's 40-something birthday on Sunday. -end