FAIRFIELD, N.J., Jan. 21 - Andersen Walko Racing (AWR), one of the most successful formula-car prep shops in North America, announced today that Andrew and Doug Prendeville, Adam Pecorari and three-time and reigning SCCA Formula Continental National Champion Mike Andersen will compete in AWR entries this year in the Formula Ford Zetec Championship (FF2000), which is part of the Cooper Tires Championship Series.
The team's drivers line-up for its Formula SCCA (FSCCA) and SCCA national programs will be released soon.
Several of the drivers are in the middle of an extensive winter testing schedule organized by the company, which has offices in Fairfield, N.J. and a 7,500-square-foot race shop in North Versailles, Pa., near Pittsburgh.
Andrew Prendeville and Adam Pecorari plan to contest all of the FF2000 Zetec events, while Doug Prendeville and Andersen will run in selected events.
"Our goal is a one-two championship finish, nothing less, and with these two talented pilots running the entire schedule we can accomplish that goal," said team co-owner Dan Andersen.
Andrew Prendeville, 22, of Monroeville, Pa., finished fifth in the FF2000 Zetec championship last year running with AWR after earning the SCCA Formula Continental National Championship at the prestigious SCCA Valvoline Runoffs in 2002.
"I'm definitely going for the championship this year," he said. "I think we can do much better than we did last year. This year I want to be on top. I think the competition is going to be just as tough as last year, but I think my experience last year will really help going into this year's events."
Pecorari, of Ashton, Pa., ran in the FF2000 Zetec championship for the team last year too, scoring one podium finish and three top-five finishes and finishing eighth in points for the year. The 19-year-old was named the series' "Rising Star" at last year's awards banquet. Prior to moving into formula cars he captured two International Karting Federation (IKF) Grand National championships and was a finalist at the world-famous Monaco Cup in Monte Carlo.
"My goal is to be on the podium at every race," Pecorari said. "As far as the championship goes, we'll have to see. I believe that I have a good chance of winning the title, but Andrew is going to be one of the drivers who will be my toughest competition. It's going to be a good season."
Pecorari added that he's pleased to be a member of the AWR squad. "They're really a professional team and their cars are good," he said. "They're really nice guys too."
Doug Prendeville plans to compete in the first two races (Sebring, Fla. in March and Road Atlanta in April), while Mike Andersen's 2004 season is scheduled to begin at the Road Atlanta race. He plans to compete in approximately four events, and is especially looking forward to the two races at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Although Andersen has run only a limited schedule of SCCA Formula Continental events since 1998, the 30-year-old Green Pond, N.J.-based driver has accumulated a dozen SCCA national victories, 17 SCCA national poles, four SCCA Runoffs poles and five SCCA track records in addition to his three SCCA national Formula Continental championships. He took a break from competition from 1996 through 1997, but before that he was a star of the pro Formula Ford 2000 series, finishing fourth in 1992, second in 1993 and third in 1994.
"I'm not planning to defend my Formula Continental championship; we sold that car," he explained. "Once they finalize the FF2000 Zetec schedule I'll decide how many race I'll do. I usually do four or five races a year."
Can he beat his two teammates who will be running the entire schedule?
"Well, I'll try!" he said with a smile. "I've beaten Andrew before but I've never raced against Adam."
Doug Prendeville, Andrew's older brother by three years, lives in Morristown, N.J. He got started in the sport through local go-kart events and the Bertil Roos School. He won the Bertil Roos Hard-Charger Award in 2001. He competed in SCCA Formula Continental events in 2002, finishing third in the Northeast division point standing and nabbing a second place at the Valvoline Runoffs. He ran the entire FF2000 Zetec series last year with AWR, finishing 13th in points and gaining a great deal of experience which will help him in 2004.
AWR was formed in November 2002 with the merger of two-time SCCA national champions Andersen/Kish Racing and John Walko Racing. The team finished third overall in its first season together on the FF2000 Zetec trail. The team is led by Dan Andersen, co-owner, team president and Mike's father, and John Walko, co-owner, team manager and chief engineer.
Dan Andersen, one of the most influential men in the junior open-wheel formula car ranks in North America for over a decade, organized the U.S. Formula 2000 national championship series with partner Mike Foschi in the early nineties and ran it successfully through 2001. He has also owned and operated his own successful race team with his son for many years.
Walko is recognized as one of top engineers in Formula Ford, Formula Continental and Formula Ford 2000 racing today, with multiple SCCA national championships and runner-up finishes. He was chosen as "Engineer of the Year" for 2003 in the FF2000 Zetec series. He also ran the factory Carbir team in the U.S. F2000 series.
Here's how our drivers performed in 2003:
PITTSBURGH, PA. (January 10, 2003) – Andersen Walko Racing recently completed extensive testing at three different tracks, in preparation for the upcoming 2003 Formula Ford 2000 Zetec Championship season.
The newly formed team began its pre-season testing program at Sebring International Raceway just after New Years. Running in conjunction with an SCCA Club Racing National event, drivers Andrew and Doug Prendeville completed three days of trouble free testing.
Driving for the first time since the 2002 season-finale, the Prendeville brothers used the opening stages of the test to learn the challenging 3.7-mile road course and become familiar with the new aerodynamic and tire package instituted for the upcoming year. As the test progressed, both drivers steadily got quicker, gathering valuable seat time. By the end of the test both the drivers and the team felt significant gains had been made.
Immediately following the test a Sebring, the team traveled to Roebling Road in Savannah, Ga., for one day of testing. Driving on the abrasive 2.02-mile road course, the team focused on finding mechanical grip and evaluating the new Avon radials. The test proved to be a tremendous success, with both drivers completing over 200 trouble-free miles on one set of tires each.
Andersen/Walko concluded it's first pre-season test program at Carolina Motorsports Park. Working on assorted car setups, the drivers and the team gathered a vast amount of data during two days of testing.
"The tests were definitely a success," said Andersen/Walko co-owner John Walko. "It was important to get Andrew and Doug some seat time before the season started, particularly at Sebring, which neither one had ever seen before. The new tires are real impressive. We were able to do in excess of 200 miles on a set without suffering significant loss in performance."
"It was great to get back in the car," said Doug Prendeville, who qualified on the front-row at the 2002 season-finale. "I really like the new car package. It's fun to drive and should make for some great racing."
"I'm looking forward to the start of the season," said Andrew Prendeville, who won the SCCA Club Racing Formula Continental National Championship last year at the prestigious Valvoline Runoffs. "I like the new car package more than last year, which is hard to believe since I loved driving the Zetec last year. I think the team can post some good results this year."
Andersen/Walko Racing will conduct further pre-season tests ahead of the 2003 Formula Ford 2000 Zetec Championship season-opener, March 13-14, at Sebring International Raceway, part of the Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring.
MONDAY, DEC. 23, FAIRFIELD, N.J., -- Andersen Walko Racing has announced its first driver lineup for the 2003 season. Brothers Doug and Andrew Prendeville of Morristown, N.J., front-runners in SCCA Formula Continental competition last season, will pair up in the professional Formula Ford 2000 Zetec Championship.
“We are proud to have reached an agreement with two promising young stars so soon after we announced the formation of our team,” said team co-owner Dan Andersen. “We watched Doug and Andrew last year and we were impressed, and we are excited that we can help them move up the motorsports ladder.”
The Prendevilles made waves last season by finishing 1-2 at the SCCA’s National Championship Runoffs, with Andrew qualifying on pole and taking the title, in just their first full year of racing. After getting their start at the Bertil Roos Racing school in 2001, the two bulldozed the SCCA’s Northeast division in 2002, with Andrew, 19, winning the division on the strength of four wins, and Doug, 24, placing third with two wins. At the prestigious June Sprints, Andrew finished second while Doug took third. For their efforts they were awarded co-rookie-of-the-year status in the Northeast division.
The two also made their pro debuts. Andrew contested four FF2000 races, earning two top-10 finishes and one outside-pole starting spot. Doug made two FF2000 starts, including one from outside pole, and also entered two Fran-Am Formula Renault races, producing finishes of seventh and third.
Andersen Walko racing was recently formed through the merger of two-time SCCA National Champions, Andersen Kish Racing, with pro FF2000 veterans John Walko Racing. In addition to the two-car effort in the FF2000 Zetec Championship, the team will field entries for two drivers in the new Formula SCCA class, and will continue fielding cars in SCCA’s Formula Continental class.
John Walko, Co-Owner, Team Manager and Chief Engineer, is recognized as one of the best race engineers in Formula Continental and FF2000 racing today. His accomplishments include winning two SCCA National Championships and two runner-up finishes at the SCCA Runoffs in the past four years, including 1999 and 2000 FC runner-ups, 2000 FF National Champion, and 2001 FC National Champion.
On the pro side, Walko ran the factory Carbir team in U.S. FF2000 competition, winning the American Continental Championship for year-old cars in 1999 and 2000. His pro drivers in 2001 and 2002, Paul Dana, Tom Dyer, Josh Schreiber, Joel Nelson, Mike Andersen, and Doug Prendeville recorded four podium, 11 top-five and 16 top-ten finishes. Walko recorded his first pro win in 2002 with Dyer on the oval at Indianapolis Raceway Park.
Dan Andersen, Co-Owner and Team President, is one of the most respected figures in the junior open-wheel ranks, with a proud tradition of helping develop young American driving talent. Dan founded the U.S. FF2000 pro series in 1991 and guided it for 10 years, turning it into one of the top open-wheel development formulas in the world with numerous graduates enjoying successful careers in CART and the IRL. Dan also has owned and operated his own successful race team for his son Mike for the past 5 seasons, and heads a $20 million/year contracting business he founded in New Jersey in 1974.
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