Team GDT Signs Colombian Andres Mendez
Texas-based Team GDT has signed rising Colombian open-wheel driver Andrés Mendez to compete in the 2012 Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear.
Mendez is a 19 year-old Colombian racer who has been competing in both karts and open-wheel cars for the past four years in Colombia, Europe and the United States. His karting credentials include major championship events in Colombia, Italy and Mexico, as well as the Florida Winter Tour, Rotax Max Challenge, the Pan-American Rotax, and the Super Kart SKUSA championships in the USA.
He has tested F2000 cars with the Red Bull-sponsored Korainenbros Motorsport Team in Estoril, Portugal, participated in the Jim Russell Future Driver Search and was chosen for the Ferrari Driver Academy as junior future driver.
In Colombia, he has competed in the Van Diemen 2.0 National Championship, and is a three-time winner of the 6 Horas de Bogotá race, one of the most important motorsport events in Latin America, driving a Van Diemen sports racer.
“The main thing that attracted me to come and race in the United States and the Star Mazda Championship was the Mazda Road to Indy and how it makes getting from where I am now to the top levels of racing very clear,” says Mendez. “I’ve raced a lot over the last four years, in many countries and many different series, and it’s all very confusing. Now I’m with a really good team, GDT, racing in a very professional series and in a driver development program where the goal, racing in IndyCar and at the Indy500, is right there in front of me. I’m very excited for the start of the season and to finally get my career going in the right direction.”
In 2011, Team GDT won its second Expert Series championship in a row with driver/team owner J.W. Roberts. The Expert Series is a race-within-a-race and a championship-within-a-championship for drivers 30 and older.
“As a team owner I am very pleased to have a driver with Andrés talent and international experience on board,” says Roberts. “He has shown a lot of promise in some very competitive series and now, with a clear direction and a team that cares a great deal about getting him where he wants to go, I expect he’ll be a top Star Mazda competitor in 2012. And we’re hoping to add some equally quick teammates for him to work with, so this should be a breakout season for Team GDT where we can battle for both the overall and Expert Series championship.”