On track three of the four weeks in September, ArmsUp Motorsports completed the final round of the F2000 Championship Series this past weekend at the New Jersey Motorsports Park. Taking on the Thunderbolt Raceway layout, ArmsUp drivers James Roe and Trent Walko dominated the event taking home both victories and three of four possible podium results.
Roe was never outside the top-three in official session results throughout the weekend and was one of the drivers to beat. Pacing the field with the fastest time in practice one, Roe claimed the second position in both practice two and qualifying for Saturday's action. Once wheel-to-wheel racing commenced, the ArmsUp Motorsports driver took his talents and the speed of his F2000 car to the front claiming the win. Sunday proved to be a little more difficult for the multi-time race winner as en route to the fastest lap of the race, Roe garnered the third and final step on the podium.
Walko started his weekend off with a 12th place run in the second practice session and vastly improved when the official on track action began. Qualifying sixth for race one on Saturday, the young driver held station through the first wheel-to-wheel action on the weekend. Sunday saw Walko climb the charts and after qualifying in the third position, the ArmsUp Motorsports drivers topped the podium blocks at the end of the day to scoring the win, the second for ArmsUp Motorsports victory of the weekend.
"We have our hands in a lot of different series and on a lot of different types of vehicles," explained Gregg Borland. "I don't think many people understand how involved we are as we assist drivers with their cars in SCCA, F2000, USF2000, vintage racing and more. The season is winding down right now but that does not mean we are slowing by any means. Continuing to evolve our program, we are headed to Indy this week for the annual Chris Griffis Test and already have test dates planned for the off season as we prepare for 2019."
It's time to dole out the 'Star of the Race' honors for the #IndyTO! I'll kick things off with USF2000 Series Race 1 and that nod goes to Dakota Dickerson Racing from ArmsUp Motorsports.
The San Diego, CA resident has worked non-stop on his career since his first season in the MRTI in 2016, and it's good to have him back. Dakota has connected with ArmsUp engineer John Walko and the team is now fighting for podiums and wins.
Dakota had a great outing in TO and rewarded Gregg Borland and Brent Borland for providing him with the opportunity with a second place finish.
Over the past couple of years, we’ve seen the great success of the Mazda Road to Indy ladder system created by Tony George, Jr. and Jason Penix. While much emphasis is placed on the graduation of drivers from one series to the next, they’re not the only ones picking up skills and looking to advance into the IZOD IndyCar Series.
Drivers move up from karts or small formula cars such as the 1600cc Skip Barber machines into the USF2000 National Championship. From there, they step up to a higher-horsepower, more aerodynamic sensitive Star Mazda machine, and then into the 450hp, 190+ mph Firestone Indy Lights racers. A number of drivers have already demonstrated how successfully each of these series have prepared them for the next level of competition.
We need only to look at former Star Mazda champion, and Indy Lights driver Conor Daly and his first win in the highly competitive GP3 series. The IZOD IndyCar Series is now replete with graduates from these junior formula series, with the notable standouts being James Hinchcliffe, and former Indy Lights champions JR Hildebrand and Josef Newgarden.
Seldom given any airtime and recognition in the press, many of the mechanics and engineers in USF2000, Star Mazda, and Indy Lights are also seeking to move up the ladder and one day find themselves on the grid on Race Day morning as a participant in the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.
For one young engineer, that dream will be realized this month as Star Mazda Quality Control Engineer Kate Gundlach, a mechanical engineer graduate from the University of Pittsburgh, will join forces with Simona de Silvestro at HVM Racing beginning with this year’s Indianapolis 500 Mile Race as the teams Data and Electronics Engineer.
“I worked with HVM during the Long Beach Grand Prix weekend and was very pleased when they offered me the DAG position on Simona’s car. I was very impressed with Simona and the HVM team, with their level of professionalism and presentation. It’s a huge change, moving from working for a series to working for a team, but the professional – and personal – education I received while working for the Star Mazda Championship has prepared me to hit the ground running in IndyCar and be confident that I can contribute to Lotus HVM Racing’s success.”
— Kate Gundlach, #78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy Lotus/Dallara HVM Racing Data and Electrical Engineer
It’s fantastic to see the graduation of professionals of all kinds through the Mazda Road to Indy program. It benefits the teams at the higher levels by creating a pool of experienced and seasoned engineers and mechanics from which to recruit. It also benefits the teams at the lower levels by providing a clear and tangible avenue for career advancement beyond the initial job for which they were hired. Successful recruiting of the best talent means first having the ability to provide them with a dynamic career environment.
Ms. Gundlach’s example should be a ray of hope and a model for young aspiring race engineers.
FAIRFIELD, N.J., Oct. 8 - Dan Andersen and John Walko of Andersen Walko Racing (AWR) announced today that they will devote all of their pro race team's efforts on the Star Mazda series presented by Goodyear in 2005.
The team will also continue to operate its SCCA Club Racing program.
"We'll be leaving the Cooper Tire championships, both the Formula Ford 2000 and the Formula SCCA classes, in order to devote our efforts to Star Mazda next year," explained Andersen, who owns the team with Walko.
"After running three cars in Formula Ford 2000, three cars in Formula SCCA and three cars in SCCA Club Racing this year, we added two Star Mazda cars and joined that championship in June," he added. "We are extremely impressed with the Star Mazda series' organization, administration and full fields of quality drivers. When you add all of that to the series' large prize fund, SPEED TV package, great IMSA/ALMS schedule and a truly great new race car, we realized that Star Mazda is the place for us next year."
AWR won the 2004 Formula Ford 2000 Zetec team championship with seven victories and 15 podium finishes. Its two lead drivers, Andrew Prendeville and Adam Pecorari, finished second and third, respectively, in the drivers' point standings in that series. Walko won its Crew Chief of the Year award, while AWR's Seb Jublien earned the series' Mechanic of the Year award for 2004.
Top rookie driver Jonathan Klein has been representing the team in Star Mazda this year and will compete in the series' season finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif. on Oct. 16. Another top AWR rookie, Robbie Pecorari (Adam's brother), will also drive an AWR entry in that race.
Always a championship contender, AWR will begin testing in November for the new Star Mazda season.
"We've already arranged test dates at Sebring, Road Atlanta, Mid-Ohio, Watkins Glen, Pikes Peak, Road America, Beaverun and Carolina Motorsports Park," Andersen said. "We will not only be testing our cars but we'll also be testing drivers for the upcoming Star Mazda season, and we hope to announce our pro driver line-up soon."
"The Star Mazda series is extremely competitive, and we're looking forward to focusing our efforts on it next year," added Walko. "We're also excited about our plan to move our shop to a more modern facility nearer to our home track, Beaverun, which is near Pittsburgh."
Andersen Walko Racing's offices are in Fairfield, N.J. and its race shop is currently in North Versailles, Pa.
FAIRFIELD, N.J., Feb. 20 - Andersen Walko Racing (AWR), one of the most successful formula car prep shops in North America, has become a dealer for Pi Research data acquisition products.
AWR will use that company's systems in all three of its cars competing in the Formula Ford 2000 Zetec championship in 2004. Andrew Prendeville, Adam Pecorari and Mike Andersen are the drivers.
Dan Abbale, Jonathan Klein and Chris Meredith drive for AWR in the Formula SCCA series. Scott Willard's Formula Continental car is prepped by AWR, as is Tim Dunn's Formula Ford.
The team is currently installing Pi's new Delta Lite system with "X Sport" dashes and Toolbox Lite software into many of its cars.
"We've had a long-term working relationship with members of AWR," explained Jason Knuteson, SCCA Club Racing sales manager for Pi Research, USA, which is based in Indianapolis. "AWR is one of our premier teams in SCCA Club Racing, and we're excited to have them on board. All of their team cars are on Pi systems."
"We chose PiXpress because its new dash display is excellent and it offers a new 'qualifying mode,' which gives drivers instant feedback," said Andersen, who in addition to being one of the team's drivers is also its data acquisitions expert.
"In addition to using Pi systems, we will carry their products and accessories for sale to other teams," added his father, team co-owner Dan Andersen.
The new X Sport from PiXpress was developed directly from the steering wheel-mounted instrumentation used in the cockpits of Indy car and Formula 1 race cars. It allows drivers to see the data when they want to, and neatly replaces gauges or other bulkhead-mounted instrumentation in a small, lightweight package mounted directly on the steering wheel.
Among the things it keeps track of are lap times and lap numbers completed; the driver's current lap position against the fastest lap of the day; real-time speed and RPMs; minimum corner and maximum straight speeds; gear numbers; and high-intensity gear changes in order to protect the engine. Logged data includes lap times, maximum speed and RPMs, and maximum and minimum sensor values for each lap. Data can be downloaded to a PC laptop to discuss in driver debriefings, hopefully resulting in better lines and faster speeds.
For more information on Pi, see www.piXpress.com and www.piResearch.com.
AWR has offices in Fairfield, N.J. while its race cars are housed in a shop in North Versailles, Pa. For more information call (973) 244-1900 and see the team's Web site at www.andersenwalko.com.
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.
AWR ANNOUNCES FF2000 DRIVER LINEUP
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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