Andersen Racing Announces Major Karting Expansion
Andersen Racing co-owner Dan Andersen announced today that the Palmetto, Fla.-based team is immediately expanding its karting operations to the national level, including participation in the Snap-on Stars of Karting presented by the IndyCar Series, and has named noted karter Wes Phillips as its new director of competition karting.
Phillips, 28, was the Rotax national champion in 2005, and he's a multiple-time Rotax Max Americas team member. He's also a very respected coach, working with notable drivers such as Brett Smrz, Jacob Neal, Alexander Rossi and J.R. Hildebrand.
Phillips' karting business, The Circuit Group, which is based in American Canyon, Calif., will now come under the Andersen Racing umbrella, which includes karting, Formula BMW Americas, Star Mazda and Firestone Indy Lights teams as well as the operation of Andersen RacePark, a 1-mile road course test track at its headquarters. It is the development team of Rahal Letterman Racing, which competes in the IndyCar Series and the American Le Mans Series.
"Wes Phillips joins us with an impressive resume as a driver, tuner, mechanic, prep shop operator and manager of his own kart operation," Andersen said.
"It is a natural progression for our race team to expand into the national karting scene, due to our continual search for career-minded, talented young drivers for our Formula BMW Americas, Star Mazda and Firestone Indy Lights pro teams," Andersen said. "With our own test track for training, and now an individual with Wes Phillips' experience, we will be much more in touch with tomorrow's open-wheel stars.
"Wes is a delight to watch as he mentors talented young karters, organizes team operations, and demonstrates, through his own driving skills and experience, how to race and win," Andersen added. "We are very pleased to add him to our team."
Although Phillips plans to compete in a few selected events himself, he said his immediate focus is to build a strong base of karting talent for Andersen Racing that will eventually feed into its formula car program, beginning with Formula BMW Americas.
"Andersen Racing strives to provide the best opportunities for its drivers," Phillips said. "With the support of its current infrastructure and its success in open-wheel competition, I believe Andersen Racing can become a nationally recognized karting team within a reasonable amount of time. We're all delighted to work with MRP Motorsport and Birel, and I hope to have the team at full capacity and running at 100 percent by the Rotax Grand Nationals in Norman, Okla., in August."
Phillips said that he may participate in the later half of this year's Rotax Euro Challenge, including an event in the Czech Republic and one in France.