RACE: Andersen Walko Racing expands driver list

Willard, Dunn to race with Andersen Walko in SCCA Club events. FAIRFIELD, N.J., Feb. 17 - For the drivers, it may or may not be "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em." But for the team owners, it's definitely "If they're the ones to beat, ...

Willard, Dunn to race with Andersen Walko in SCCA Club events.

FAIRFIELD, N.J., Feb. 17 - For the drivers, it may or may not be "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em."

But for the team owners, it's definitely "If they're the ones to beat, run 'em."

Dan Andersen and John Walko of Andersen Walko Racing announced today that two drivers that are always among the ones to beat in SCCA Club Racing, Scott Willard and Tim Dunn, will be part of the Andersen Walko Racing (AWR) stable for SCCA national Club Racing events in 2004.

Willard, who returns for his second season with the team this year, will compete in SCCA Formula Continental events, while Dunn will race in the Formula Ford division. Both men plan a six-to-eight-race schedule in the hopes of qualifying for the SCCA Valvoline Runoffs at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in the fall and doing well there.

Willard, of Weston, Conn., captured the SCCA Northeast division Formula Ford championship twice, winning in excess of 20 races, prior to moving into the Formula Continental division in 1999. He is one of the top drivers in the Northeast division in that class, and finished tenth in the SCCA's FC Northeast division point standings last year.

"My goals are to be very competitive, race hard, and compete to win," said Willard, who has been racing for 14 years. "I think I'll do about eight races this year. Andersen Walko is highly professional; it's a very well-managed and well-organized team, and I'm looking forward to my second season with them."

"Scott was the guy to beat in Formula Fords when I started to prep cars; that's how I met him," explained Walko, the team's engineer in addition to being a co-owner. "If we could go as fast as Scott, we were doing well. He's a real consistent, top-five runner in Formula Continental. He won his first Formula Continental race with us last year at VIR [Virginia International Raceway]. He's a great guy; he's into skiing, flying airplanes, sailing and all sorts of things in addition to racing; he's a very adventurous guy."

Dunn, of Chesterland, Ohio, started racing 19 years ago. Within five years he had already earned the SCCA Northeast Ohio and the Central Division regional Formula Ford championships, as well as numerous other awards. He started racing in national events in 1995 and has earned five trips to the Valvoline Runoffs in Formula Fords: 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2003. He also has competed in the C Sports Racer (CSR) class, finishing second in that division at the 2001 Valvoline Runoffs.

This year he'll be driving a Swift DB-6 Formula Ford which AWR is in the process of converting from a Formula 2000 car.

"The plan was to be out in April, but that'll be close," Dunn said. "We'll run six to eight races; Mid-Ohio, Road America for sure, and probably Road Atlanta. When the car is actually ready will have a little bit to do with our schedule."

Dunn has high hopes for the year because it's the first time he's had this kind of help.

"I've done the triple-whammy all these years of being the driver, owner and mechanic all at the same time, and I've spread myself a little thin all these years," he explained. "I'm looking forward to John giving me some set-up help, which I think has been the weak spot."

"I don't know Tim as well as I know Scott; my earliest memory of him is that he was a rival of a local Club Ford racer who got me into racing," Walko recalled. "He was always very fast, especially at Nelson Ledges. He was always the guy we had to beat there."

Walko added that the conversion of Dunn's Swift DB-6 into a Formula Ford is going well. "It makes a good Formula Ford," he explained. "The engine is being fitted now, and the frame is ready to be assembled."

Last month AWR announced that Andrew and Doug Prendeville, Adam Pecorari and Mike Andersen will compete in AWR entries this year in the Formula Ford Zetec Championship (FF2000), which is part of the Cooper Tires Championship Series. A few weeks ago the team, which is based in Fairfield, N.J. and North Versailles, Pa., also announced that Dan Abbale, Jonathan Klein and Chris Meredith will be the team's drivers in the Formula SCCA (FSCCA) series, which is part of the same Cooper Tires Championship Series.

AWR was formed in November 2002 with the merger of two-time SCCA national champions Andersen/Kish Racing and John Walko Racing. The team is led by Dan Andersen, co-owner and team president, and Walko, co-owner, team manager and chief engineer.

Dan Andersen, one of the most influential men in the junior open-wheel formula car ranks in North America for over a decade, organized the U.S. Formula 2000 national championship series with partner Mike Foschi in the early nineties and ran it successfully through 2001. He has also owned and operated his own successful race team with his son for many years.

Walko is recognized as one of top engineers in Formula Ford, Formula Continental and Formula Ford 2000 racing today, with multiple SCCA national championships and runner-up finishes. He was chosen as "Engineer of the Year" for 2003 in the FF2000 Zetec series. He also ran the factory Carbir team in the U.S. F2000 series.

-www.andersenwalko.com-

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Series SCCA
Drivers Tim Dunn , Chris Meredith , Doug Prendeville , Adam Pecorari , Jonathan Klein