Gladdis and Andersen Racing Quickly Agree to Work Together For 2008 Star Mazda Championship Presented by Goodyear PALMETTO, Fla., Feb. 4 - Race car drivers need to have fast reaction times both on the track and when opportunity knocks during...
Gladdis and Andersen Racing Quickly Agree to Work Together For 2008 Star Mazda Championship Presented by Goodyear
PALMETTO, Fla., Feb. 4 - Race car drivers need to have fast reaction times both on the track and when opportunity knocks during their careers.
Team owners like Dan and John Andersen of Andersen Racing have to be equally fast when presented with a rookie driver who performs like a veteran. Tom Gladdis did just that when the Palmetto, Fla.-based team tested him last week at Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Fla., and today Andersen Racing announced it has signed the 16-year-old British driver for a full season in the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear.
Gladdis was born in the Isle of Wight, England, and resides in Gibraltar, a British territory. He's sponsored by Marrache & Co., the international law firm of Gibraltar that has offices in London, Spain, Lisbon, Prague and Luxemburg.
Both Gladdis and Marrache will fit right in with the Star Mazda series, which is sanctioned by IMSA and often serves as a support event for IMSA's American Le Mans Series with its tagline of world-class manufacturers, teams and drivers.
Gladdis only has one year of racing under his belt, finishing sixth in the rookie standings in the tough Formula BMW UK series last year. He sat in a Star Mazda car for the first time over the Christmas holiday, but he was very fast at the Sebring test.
Gladdis said he had planned to race in Asia this year, but he and Andersen Racing just clicked at the test.
"I loved working with everyone on the team," he said. "Everyone at Andersen Racing made me feel welcome. They all worked very hard and put as much effort in as they could. That's the main reason I signed with the team. The car they prepare is very good and fast."
Dan Andersen originally planned to run three drivers in the Star Mazda series this year. Juliana Gonzalez and Yannick Hofman are already on board and the signing of two more drivers is imminent, but he still agreed to add Gladdis to his stable.
"He is a very fine driver, and the whole team wants him," Andersen said. "We think he can win races, and possibly the championship."
The relationship developed very quickly. "I read about Star Mazda at the back of an AutoSport magazine in England, and I knew we were coming to America over Christmas," Gladdis disclosed. "I said to my dad that I would really like to drive one of those cars, and that's when he got me a test. Things developed from there, we found Andersen Racing, and now I'm really anxious to get the season started in America."