Lanteigne joins AWR for 2006

Lanteigne Joins AWR For 2006 Star Mazda Season FAIRFIELD, N.J., Dec. 19 - Andersen Walko Racing is pleased to announce that engineer Remi Lanteigne is one of several new appointments to the Fairfield, N.J.-based team, widely regarded as one of...

Lanteigne Joins AWR For 2006 Star Mazda Season

FAIRFIELD, N.J., Dec. 19 - Andersen Walko Racing is pleased to announce that engineer Remi Lanteigne is one of several new appointments to the Fairfield, N.J.-based team, widely regarded as one of the best formula car teams in North America.

Lanteigne, of Becancour, Quebec, will be the engineer for Gerardo Bonilla's car in the 2006 Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear.

He joins two returning engineers on the team: Glenn Phillips, who will be the engineer for Brad Jaeger's car in 2006, and Rossella Manfrinato, who will be the engineer for the team's third Star Mazda entry. The team is still testing hopeful drivers for that seat.

Phillips was the engineer on the AWR entry driven by Robbie Pecorari in 2005. Pecorari finished second in the championship and earned its Rookie of the Year award. Manfrinato was the engineer for AWR driver Jonathan Klein, who finished on the podium at the season finale.

Lanteigne was the engineer for Formula Atlantic standout Katherine Legge this year, as well as Star Mazda driver Luis Schiavo. Formerly a factory engineer for Swift Engineering, he's also worked on Indy Lights and Champ Car programs, including a stint with Helio Castroneves, but he's concentrated on Formula Atlantic and Star Mazda for the last few years.

"I'm pretty confident that it's going to be a good year and we're going to be going for the Star Mazda championship," Lanteigne said. "Dan [Andersen] is very serious about going for the championship and he has a good organization. We had a test recently at Barber Motorsports Park, and we made big progress over the course of those two days. They're all very competent people, and it didn't take us long to bond. Dan is pretty clear about what he wants, and when everything is clear, things move even more quickly.

"It's a championship-oriented team, and that's what I was looking for," he added.

Assisting the team with data acquisition expertise in 2006 will be Gerald Gordon of Greenfield, Ind. Gordon was Panther Racing's data engineer this year in the Indy Racing League, and he's also worked as an engineer in the IRL for Mo Nunn Racing. He was the open-wheel product support engineer for Pi Research in Indianapolis for several years.

Other recent additions to Andersen Walko Racing include mechanics Mike Reggio of Mesa, Ariz. and Will Paul of St. Petersburg, Fla.

Reggio will be the lead mechanic on Bonilla's car, and he'll also do some engineering work. His background includes working for the factory Star Mazda team in 2004 and MJ Racing, which ran Marco Andretti and Ross Smith, in the Star Mazda series in 2005.

"I'm excited about working with Remi; I worked with him at the Star Mazda exhibition race at Trois-Rivieres last year with Luis Schiavo, and we won," Reggio said. "I think it's a great opportunity."

Although new to AWR, Paul worked on Richard Morgan's Formula 2000 team several years ago and he's kept in touch with his ex-boss. He'll be reunited with Morgan for 2006, as Morgan joined AWR as its general manager in October. After leaving Richard Morgan Racing Paul worked for Rahal Letterman Racing for three years, first as a mechanic on Danica Patrick's Formula Atlantic car and then as a mechanic on her Indy car. He will work with Manfrinato and the as-yet-unnamed driver.

"I'm very excited about the way the team is coming together for 2006," said Dan Andersen, managing partner. "While we had excellent results in 2005, there were still some areas of our team performance that I felt were lacking, and with the addition of these new crew members we have stepped up our game immensely."

Andersen added that the team has once again retained the award-winning motorsports public relations firm Restart Communications of Indianapolis for the 2006 season.

"We strive to be much more than a prep shop," Andersen emphasized. "Although we definitely want results on the racetrack, our focus is on total driver development, and our public relations program is an important part of the package. Sometimes a driver might not want to field questions after a race, but lea rning how to interact well with the press is vital training. It also helps our drivers become better known, and it helps with their individual sponsorship efforts."

The team, which finished second (Robbie Pecorari) and fourth (Graham Rahal) in the Star Mazda championship this year, is based in Fairfield, N.J. Other AWR Star Mazda drivers in 2005 included Pablo Donoso and Klein.

-awr-

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Series Pro Mazda
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Graham Rahal , Katherine Legge , Marco Andretti , Luis Schiavo , Robbie Pecorari , Brad Jaeger , Pablo Donoso , Rossella Manfrinato , Ross Smith , Jonathan Klein , Gerardo Bonilla , Danica Patrick
Teams Panther Racing