John ‘Ando’ Anderson dies of heart attack

UPDATE #2 Obituary: Anderson, John
December 20, 2010
John Keith Anderson Known to many as "Ando", passed away December 16, 2010 at age 65. John, a native Australian, is survived by his parents Marjorie and Victor Anderson of Sydney Australia, sister Patricia Anderson, and his loving wife of 38 years, Lesley Anderson of Zionsville. John, prominent in the Motorsports industry, possessed an infectious personality and was loved by anyone with whom he came in contact. He was a team manager and strategist for many premier Indy Car, Champ Car, and ALMs racing teams, including Curb Motorsport, Galles Racing, PacWest Racing, A.J. Foyt, Andretti Green, and DeFerran Motorsports. He was a winner of many championships and races, including several Indy 500s. John was a private pilot and loved to fly his plane all over the country. Ando had a very happy, adventurous spirit and loved life, which made him a beloved character to all who knew him. Visitation for John will be held Thursday, December 23, 2010 from 6 to 8 pm at Flanner and Buchanan Zionsville Funeral Center, with a memorial service to follow at 8:00. A celebration of John's remarkable life will be held on January 10th. Details will be published at a later date. Services will also be held in Sydney, Australia at a later date. Online condolences may be made at Updated arrangements will be published at that site as they become available. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Susan G. Komen Foundation for Breast Cancer Research, P. O. Box 6069, Indianapolis, IN 46206, or Riley Children's Hospital Foundation, 30 S. Meridian St., Ste. 200, Indianapolis, IN 46204.

12/16/10 Not many people involved in auto racing don't have at least one enemy. But John Anderson bucked that trend.

Anderson, who died in Indianapolis on Thursday at age 65, was one of racing's good guys, a larger than life character who made everyone he came in contact with smile or laugh.

The native of Australia came to America in 1981 to work for VDS Racing and held management roles for several U.S.-based teams, including A.J Foyt Racing, Team Green/Andretti Green Racing and De Ferran Motorsports. But he was best known as the heart and soul of Bruce McCaw's PacWest Racing Group, the team he built and led from 1993-2000.

John Anderson

Anderson was one of PacWest's first employees, and he helped grow the team into a powerhouse in the CART-sanctioned Indy car series within a few years. PacWest's most successful season came in 1997, when the team won four races with drivers Mauricio Gugelmin and Mark Blundell.

After leaving PacWest in 2000, Anderson joined Team Green, where he was part of championship and Indy 500 winning seasons with drivers Dan Wheldon (2005) and Dario Franchitti (2007).

After leading Gil de Ferran's successful startup team in the ALMS sports car series, "Ando" eventually moved to North Carolina and was set to manage the still-born USF1 Formula One team before the effort folded.

But Anderson's heart was always in Indy cars, and it was almost impossible to find anyone he worked with over the years who had a bad thing to say about him.

"Ando was an incredibly solid part of the team," said PacWest owner McCaw. "He had good focus and good discipline and I think he was a very good judge of talent. He really understood the chemistry part of the dynamics between individuals, so I think he was a very solid leader and he was obviously likeable and fun. I give Ando a huge amount of credit for a lot of our success." More at

12/16/10 Today IndyCar lost one of its great ones. We are sad to tell that John Anderson died from a heart attack this afternoon. The entire Andretti Autosport team are stunned. John was a winner with Indy500 and Championship rings to show for it along with a legion of friends.

He is survived by his wonderful wife Lesley, in Zionsville, Indiana. For many it's hard to think of Ando (as everyone in the paddock knew him) without smiling.

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