Andersen Racing Signs Daly for 2009 Star Mazda Season
Andersen Racing is pleased to announce that it will field a car for Conor Daly in the 2009 Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear.
Daly, of Noblesville, Ind., earned the 2008 Skip Barber National Championship with five victories. As part of his winnings he was awarded $350,000 from Mazda towards the season's budget in the 2009 Star Mazda championship.
After testing with Andersen Racing, which won the 2008 Star Mazda team championship, he chose to work with the Palmetto, Fla.-based team in the new year.
Daly, who turned 17 on Monday, also distinguished himself this year as one of two recipients of a Team USA scholarship. In November at Silverstone, England he became the first American ever to win the Walter Hayes Trophy, considered the world's most prestigious Formula Ford race. He was the youngest winner ever of that prize as well.
He is the son of Derek Daly, a former race car driver who reached the top of the sport, competing in Formula 1, CART (now IndyCar) and six Indianapolis 500s. He is also a two-time winner of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring at Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Fla., site of the 2009 Star Mazda season opener on March 20. Derek Daly is currently a professional speaker, broadcaster, author and consultant.
"I'm really excited to be with Andersen Racing for the Star Mazda Championship next year!" said Conor Daly, an 11th grader at Heritage Christian High School in Indianapolis. "I have such a good relationship with the team already from doing various test days. Now I can actually compete for Dan [Andersen, the team co-owner] and his team! I can't wait for the season to start because I know Andersen Racing will give me the best possible opportunity to win the championship!"
"We're pleased to have Conor Daly as a part of the MAZDASPEED ladder team in 2009," said John Doonan, manager, MAZDASPEED Motorsports team development. "His championship-winning performance in the Skip Barber series earned him this Star Mazda opportunity, and it looks like he'll be a great fit with the Andersen Racing team."
"Our team has had a relationship with Conor for a year now, and we are absolutely delighted that we will have him as a full-season driver for 2009," said Andersen. "He is a championship contender right out of the box, and we expect him to win races early and often. I have known Derek for about 10 years and have great admiration for what he has done in life. One accomplishment he can be very proud of is Conor."
"Developing the person and the driver is very important to me as both a father and a coach," Derek Daly said. "For that reason I am thrilled that the Mazda ladder system has provided Conor with the opportunity to join a proven, successful team."
Andersen said his team is also pleased that it will continue to work closely with Mazda, which does more to support junior formula-car racing in the United States than any other car manufacturer.
Developing stars is also Andersen Racing's goal. It has one of the most comprehensive ladder systems in racing, offering drivers programs in karting, Formula BMW, Star Mazda and the Firestone Indy Lights Series. It won the team championships in F2000 and Star Mazda this year, and one of its drivers also finished fifth in the team's second year of Firestone Indy Lights competition.
Andersen Racing is the development team of Rahal Letterman Racing, which competes in both IndyCar and the American Le Mans Series.