FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TRAFFORD, PA (January 25, 2006) --John Walko Racing is pleased to announce the signing of Charles Anti as a driver to compete in the 2006 Pro STAR Mazda Championship. The Pittsburgh, PA driver has competed in the Skip Barber Series the past two seasons, winning the Eastern Regional Series and finishing 3rd in the Midwest Regional Series in 2005.
Anti will compete in the same car that brought Graham Rahal to victories last year and will work with Steve Dreizler and Sebastien Jubelin, who had proven themselves capable with young drivers, leading both Rahal and Adam Pecorari to race wins the past two seasons.
"I am very excited to be a part of the reformed John Walko Racing team," said Anti. "The team is so knowledgeable and enthusiastic that I am looking forward to learning as much as I can. JWR knows how to make the cars go fast and have a good time in the process, which is what racing is all about."
Team owner, John Walko, has high hopes for the rookie driver.
"Charles started calling me a few years ago and we have stayed in touch over the years as he was a local talent looking for advice," said Walko. "We finally put him in a car recently and he was great. He is an incredible learner, has no temper and no ego and was picking things up very quick. One of the most refreshing things about Charles is he lives locally and wants to spend a lot of time at the shop learning as much as he can. That will no doubt help him down the line."
The car will carry the familiar Pittsburgh sports team colors of yellow and black, honoring the fact that the driver, teams and sponsors are all Pittsburgh based. Photos of the new car will be available soon.
John Walko Racing will begin testing in February 1-2 at Carolina Motorsports Park in Kershaw, SC and is seeking interested drivers looking to enter the STAR Mazda series. JWR has put together a rigorous testing schedule that has them visit Kershaw, VIR (Feb. 23-24), Mid-Ohio (April 26-27) and do private oval track testing (TBA) to prepare for the upcoming season. 2006 season testing programs and full or partial race seats available. Contact John@johnwalkoracing.com for more information.
TRAFFORD, P.A., Jan. 5 - Andersen Walko Racing's owners Dan Andersen and John Walko announced today that the team is splitting up into two race teams: A newly formed Andersen Racing and John Walko Racing effective Feb. 1.
The change was made to better reflect the team's ownership.
Andersen Racing is based in a new, 7,000-square-feet, state-of-the-art shop in Fairfield, N.J. John Walko Racing will remain in the former AWR and JWR facility in Trafford, PA.
AWR fielded cars for Robbie Pecorari, Graham Rahal, Pablo Donoso and Jonathan Klein in 2005. They posted four victories, 17 podium finishes, 22 top-five finishes and four poles. Pecorari finished second in the championship and earned its Rookie of the Year award. Rahal finished fourth for the season, while Donoso was ninth and Klein was 13th.
John Walko Racing will begin testing in February 1-2 at Carolina Motorsports Park in Kershaw, SC and is seeking interested drivers looking to enter the STAR Mazda series.
JWR has put together a rigorous testing schedule that has them visit Kershaw, VIR (Feb. 23-24), Mid-Ohio (April 26-27) and do private oval track testing (TBA) to prepare for the upcoming season. 2006 season testing programs and full or partial race seats available. Contact John@johnwalkoracing.com for more information.
Andersen Walko Racing's four full-time drivers from the 2005 season have some exciting plans for 2006.
The team’s two drivers with the best results in the Star Mazda Championship, presented
by Goodyear, last year will both advance to the Champ Car Atlantic Championship presented by Yokohama in 2006.
Yesterday Robbie Pecorari of Aston, Pa., who finished second in the Star Mazda championship last year and earned its Rookie of the Year award while driving for Anderwn Walko Racing(AWR), said “As of now we have made the decision to run the Champ Car Atlantic series for 2006. We have not signed anything yet, but hope fully in the next few weeks we should be able to announce which team we’ll be running with and all of the details.”
Pccorari broke the track record at Arizona’s Firebird Int’l Raceway in November while testing an Atlantic car with Brooks Associates Racing.
Graham Rahal, who finished fourth in the Star Mazda Championship last year driving for AWR, has already announced his plans to compete in the Atlantic series.
The New Albany, Ohio driver will run with Mi-Jack Conquest Racing, and yesterday he announced the car would be sponsored by Gehl, the Wisconsin-based light construction and agricultural equipment manufacturer. Last year, Rahal became the youngest driver ever to win a pro StarMazda race when he was victorious at Portland lnternational Raceway at the age of 16. He’ll revisit that track this year in the Atlantic series.
The Atlantic SeaSon opener is April 9 on tbe streets of Long Beach, CA.
Rahal will start his first Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida on Jan. 28 too. The 17-year-old is one of four drivers of the Tafel Racing Porsche GT3 Cup No. 74 that set the fastest time for the GT class in testing at Daytona earlier this month.
Another ex-AWR driver, Adam Pecorari, Robbie's brother, who ran with the team in the Formula Ford Zetec series in 2004, is also expected to compete at Daytona. He drives a Rehagen Racing Mustang Cobra SVT in the Grand-Am Cup Series.
Pablo Donoso of Santiago, Chile has moved on to the new-generation USAC Silver Crown division. He is the driver of a Cristal Beer-sponsored Riley for Racing Teams Inc.,which is owned by Eliseo Salazar and Johnny Vance. His 2006 season opener is this weekend at Phoenix InternationalRaceway. He finished ninth in Star Mazda points last year with AWR.
AWR's Jonathan Klein of Long Grove, Il. will drive in the lndy Racing League's Indy Pro series (formerly the Menards IInfniti Pro series) in 2006 as a member of the team that won the lndy Racing League lndy Car championship for the last two years, Andretti Green Racing.
Klein drove for AWR in both 2004 and 2005. He was the Star Mazda series' most improved driver of 2004, and he finished 13th in that series last year. His best finish was second in the season finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California in October. His 2006 Indy Pro season opner will be March 26 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida.
"We're proud of all of our drivers, and we hope that the lessons they learned while running with us have been instrumental in their success" said AWR's Dan Andersen, "Our drivers for 2006 - Brad Jaeger, Gerardo Bonilla and Ramiro Scuncio - have some pretty big shoes to fill, but we'll help them as much as we can.''
The 2006 Star Mazda seasont opener is March 17 at Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Florida.
FAIRFIELD, N.J., Jan. 18 - Andersen Walko Racing's Dan Andersen is pleased to announce that he has signed Ramiro Scuncio of Argentina as the team's third full-time driver for the 2006 Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear.
Scuncio, 16, joins Brad Jaeger of Cincinnati and Gerardo Bonilla of Orlando, Fla. on the driving squad for the Fairfield, N.J.-based team for all 12 races in 2006. Other drivers are expected to race for the team, widely regarded as one of the best in North American formula car racing, in selected events.
Scuncio comes to American racing from the Chilean Formula 3 series, where he won a race last year in his rookie season.
He is managed by former IndyCar and Formula One driver Eliseo Salazar, who also arranged to have Pablo Donoso drive for Andersen Walko Racing last year. Donoso, of Santiago, Chile, was victorious at one of the Star Mazda races at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. in 2005 while driving for AWR, posting two other podium finishes and three poles last year too. He is competing in the USAC Silver Crown series in 2006 in the hopes of catching the eye of a NASCAR team owner.
"It will be a big step for Ramiro to follow in Pablo's footsteps this year because the Star Mazda series is quite different than what Ramiro has done in the past, but both he and his family are very committed to the effort," said Salazar, who was at Phoenix International Raceway with Donoso for this weekend's USAC Silver Crown season opener at the Copper World Classic. "We expect for Ramiro to run in the top 10 this year, and learn enough so that he can contend for the Star Mazda championship in 2007. He's looking forward to our next test at Road Atlanta very much."
"Relationships are very important in racing, as they are in all other businesses, and it's nice that Eliseo is again endorsing the work we do by bringing another driver to our team," noted Michelle Kish, team manager.
Scuncio's signing followed a successful test at Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Fla. recently. That track will hold the 2006 Star Mazda season opener March 17 as a support event to the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring American Le Mans Series (ALMS) race.
"We were all very impressed with Ramiro at the test, and we're looking forward to an exciting season," Kish added.
Rossella Manfrinato will be Scuncio's engineer. She was Jonathan Klein's engineer last year for his second season with AWR. Klein will drive for Andretti Green Racing in the Indy Racing League's Indy Pro Series this year.
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