PALMETTO, Fla., Feb. 25 - As part of its long-established role as a leader in the development of open-wheel talent, Andersen Racing announced today that it will be the presenting sponsor of the Toronto Racing Association of Karters (TRAK) Series in 2009.
The not-for-profit TRAK corporation plans to stage 14 events, primarily at Goodwood Kartways in Stouffville, Ontario, Canada.
Andersen Racing competes in karting, Formula BMW, Star Mazda and Firestone Indy Lights from its headquarters at Andersen RacePark in Palmetto, Fla. Sponsored by Allied Building Products Corp., it is the official development team of Rahal Letterman Racing, a top IndyCar Series and American Le Mans Series team.
Andersen Racing plans to use its sponsorship of the TRAK Series not only to show support for the Canadian karting community, but also as a way to identify young talent that would be suitable to step up to its Formula BMW Americas program from karting. Although this is TRAK's inaugural season, a few of the many drivers who have gotten their start in the sport by karting at Goodwood Kartways over the last 40 years include open-wheel drivers Scott Goodyear, Paul Tracy and Daniel Morad as well as long-time karting supporter and sports car star Ron Fellows.
As part of the prize package Andersen Racing has developed, three drivers from the TRAK Series will be awarded a free two-day test in one of the team's Formula BMW race cars after the 2009 TRAK series concludes in October. The trio will consist of the Junior Rotax and Senior Rotax champions, as well as a third, wild-card driver of the team's choosing selected from all junior and senior categories. Other key aspects of the prize include a mentoring program designed to further develop the karters and prepare them for the transition from karting to car racing, as well as official recognition as an RLR/Andersen Racing junior development driver.
Veteran racing engineer Remi Lanteigne, who is the director of engineering for Andersen Racing's Formula BMW and Star Mazda teams, spearheaded the team's association with TRAK. "The Formula BMW series is a very natural step up from karting," he pointed out. "Andersen Racing has established a unique program whereby it can help develop a driver from Formula BMW, Star Mazda and Firestone Indy Lights, all the way up the ladder with our association with Rahal Letterman Racing. Our partnership with TRAK is a great initiative."
Lanteigne hinted that team co-owners Dan and John Andersen may agree to participate in similar programs in other geographic areas too. The program will look to evaluate and choose aspiring young drivers across the Americas and offer them an opportunity to advance through the Andersen Racing ladder system.
Goodwood Kartways is owned by the Di Leo family, which includes two other famous open-wheel brothers, racers Daniel and Marco Di Leo. "We certainly welcome Andersen Racing on board, and we're excited about the upcoming season," said Daniel Di Leo, president of TRAK. "Goodwood Kartways has a very impressive history when it comes to the development of Canada's motorsport stars," he added.
"An association with a top-level program like Andersen Racing is something that all young karters should be excited about. The principals of Andersen Racing share in our vision to create awareness and develop future talent through grassroots programs like the Toronto Racing Association of Karters."
For more information on the series and/or Goodwood Kartways, please visit their respective websites at trak.ca and goodwoodkartways.com. For more information on Andersen Racing, see andersenracingteam.com and andersenracepark.com.
About Allied Building Products Corp.:
Allied Building Products Corp., headquartered in East Rutherford, N.J., is one of the largest roofing and siding distributors in the United States. Founded in 1950 with five employees and two trucks, today it is a $1.8 billion building material distribution company with over 3,500 employees, more than 200 branches in 30 states, well over one million square feet of office and warehouse space, and an inventory of approximately 85,000 products, from residential roofing and siding to doors, windows, waterproofing, manufactured stone, interior products and commercial roofing systems. For more information see alliedbuilding.com.
About Andersen Racing:
Andersen Racing strives to provide the best and most comprehensive training possible for future open-wheel superstars while giving its marketing partners media exposure and hospitality opportunities at some of the most prestigious events in North America. It provides a unique, four-step program utilizing multiple entries in four different platforms: karting, Formula BMW, Star Mazda (televised on SPEED) and Firestone Indy Lights (televised on VERSUS). In 2008 it fielded multiple entries in 42 races in 18 states and provinces at some of the best facilities on the continent, including the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Andersen Racing won the team championship for 2008 for both the F2000 Championship Series presented by Hoosier Racing Tire and the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear. Two of its drivers finished first and second in the F2000 driver point standings, while another was sixth. Three of its Star Mazda drivers placed third, fifth and sixth in that series' driver standings. RLR/Ander sen Racing finished sixth in the 2008 Firestone Indy Lights team standings, while one of its drivers placed fifth in that series' driver point standings.
Andersen Racing's principals, brother Dan and John Andersen, have extensive experience in series administration as well as team management. They've worked with many of today's top open-wheel stars, including several Indy 500 winners.
Andersen Racing is sponsored by Allied Building Products Corp. It is the official development team of Rahal Letterman Racing, which competes in the IndyCar Series and the American Le Mans Series. The team is headquartered at Andersen RacePark, an 18-acre facility in Palmetto, Fla. that includes a 1-mile road course test track. For more information see andersenracingteam.com and andersenracepark.com.