Indy Lights Staff Expansion
PALMETTO, Fla. — Andersen Promotions has started the process of creating new and expanded roles within its management team in preparation for the licensing and operation of the Indy Lights Series from 2014.
The growing company increased its personnel to accommodate the launch of its Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires earlier this year and, alongside operation of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda, will now oversee all three rungs on the Mazda Road to Indy — the defined, scholarship-supported ladder for drivers to reach the IZOD IndyCar Series.
Jason Penix, director of grassroots initiatives for IndyCar, has joined Andersen Promotions in a shared arrangement with IndyCar and will fill the key role of director of development series. Penix, who joined IndyCar in 2005, has been a staunch supporter of the Mazda Road to Indy, which he helped to develop, including the unparalleled Mazda Road to Indy Summit education program. Most recently, he was instrumental in bridging the gap from karting to the Mazda Road to Indy, securing the Skip Barber Racing School as the official racing school of both the ladder system and IndyCar and launching the Skip Barber IndyCar Academy. Penix also created partnerships with British Formula Ford, the LATAM Challenge Series and Canadian F1600 whereby their rising stars receive test days in USF2000 and Pro Mazda.
As director of development series, Penix’s role will focus on the operation, planning and promotion of the three championships. He will also be part of the leadership team alongside Dan Andersen (Owner and CEO), Michelle Kish (COO and Series Manager), Paul Walter (Competition Director), John Andersen (Director of Logistics) and Tamy Valkosky (Public Relations Director).
Tony Cotman, President and Founder of NZR Consulting and former Vice President of Competition at IndyCar, has been named as project manager for the new Indy Lights equipment package and will oversee and advise on all chassis, engine and tire options. It was announced Monday that the series will introduce a new Indy Lights race car for 2015 and will utilize an updated car for the 2014 season with enhanced technology and performance.
Cotman has been soliciting and reviewing all RFPs (Request for Proposals) and, at present, is conducting in-depth discussions with four major chassis constructors, six tire and five engine manufacturers.
John Andersen’s role as director of logistics will evolve to include Indy Lights. Andersen will now oversee all logistical planning and event organization, the competition paddock and pit lane, and pit tech and rig operator crews. Sponsor services director Ken Burris has joined Andersen Promotions on a full-time basis and will manage sponsor relations for all three levels.
“Since the announcement just over two weeks ago that we will be operating Indy Lights, we have been working on a plan to make certain that we have the best people in place to ensure continued and new success for the three levels of the Mazda Road to Indy,” said Dan Andersen. “I am fortunate to have a great staff in place, many of whose roles will be expanded and supplemented with additional personnel.
“I am very pleased to welcome Jason and Tony to our team. Jason has really been a visionary on the Mazda Road to Indy program and it is truly his passion to see drivers develop and move up the ladder. We share the same goals including building the field sizes in both Indy Lights and Pro Mazda to match the entries we see in USF2000. Tony’s background and expertise is invaluable in ensuring that we not only unveil a state-of-the art race car attractive to drivers globally but also that we establish the proper relationships with our partners to ensure activation and support for the program and cost savings to our teams in addition to quality products.”