Andersen Racing Becomes Presenting Sponsor
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."