Marco Andretti to make IRL debut

Michael Andretti says the move up to Star Mazda makes 2005 a critical season for the racing ambitions of his 17-year-old son Marco, who has progressed nicely from go-karts through more advanced race cars. "This is a very important year for Marco, because the Star Mazda is an ultra, ultra competitive series," Michael Andretti said. "He's dominated and showed he can race every place he's raced so far. But here he's moving up into stiffer competition driving race cars that are more like our cars."

The Star racers feature 250 horsepower engines and provide more downforce and other more sophisticated technology than Marco's used to. "They're real tough to drive," Michael said, "so it's going to be good for him." At 17, Michael went from go-kart racing to earn an SCCA racing license and began competing in the then Formula Ford series.

He competed in Formula Ford and Super Vee series, where he won championships, debuting in CART Indy Car racing in 1983. He ran three races, starting at Las Vegas. He was 21 years old then. "I'm hoping in 2006 we can run him (Marco) in a couple of (IRL) races and attack it full season in 2007," Andretti said. "That would be the dream if everything goes right." Express-Times

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