Northern Conference, Super Touring Lite
Sometimes a season in racing feels like a constant uphill battle. For Bruce Andersen, of Sarasota, Fla., it was one of those seasons, despite taking home the Northern Conference STL title at the end of 2013. The ability to overcome extreme adversity is a requirement to win a championship.
“In simple terms, it means accomplishment of a racing goal and is a symbol of persistence and dedication to reaching the goal,” Andersen said. “I decided, in 2012, when STL was an exhibition class, to build an STL car and compete in the 2013 season.
“When the majors were announced I decided to run in both the Eastern and Northern Conferences. It all started well with the first race weekend at Sebring. Unfortunately, disaster struck at VIRginia International Raceway, when during the test day I lost the engine.
“Knowing I wanted to compete in the Northern Conference also, a SM car was rebuilt to get it is as close to an STL car as possible. Despite numerous mechanical and emotional challenges during the May to August time line, I was able to compete in all Northern conference major races, as well as Watkins Glen International Raceway.”
Aside from problems at VIR, Andersen also faced and overcame issues at Gingerman Raceway.
“The car’s setup was not good for the track,” Andersen said. “I also let the track intimidate me. I never managed to get my head into the race or develop the confidence needed. Following a review of the data, a change in the car’s setup, plus a little introspective thinking, I was prepared for the next race weekend at Gateway.”
In nine race starts, Andersen drove the No. 73 Senson Racing Group/Autotechnik Racing Mazda Miata to five podium finishes. That record included a win at Gateway Motorsports Park, second-place finishes at Michigan International Speedway and Gateway and a third-place at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Andersen had some very important people to thank for his success during the season.
“The support, understanding and companionship of June Andersen, my wife, made it all possible,” Andersen said. “She traveled with me and supported my racing, accompanying me all 10,000, plus, towing miles so far this year.
“Thanks to Senson Racing Group, Autotechnik Racing, BF Goodrich tires and the SCCA racing family. I especially want to thank the workers, without whom there would be no racing.
“The racing season starts with Jeff LaBounty, of Autotechnik Racing, who built the STL car and then after losing an engine, prepared another STL car so I could race the series. During the Northern conference racing season, he was consistently only a phone call away, providing advice and information needed to repair the numerous mechanical issues.
“I could not have raced without Senson Racing Group member Bruce Andersen II, my son and SM racer. He was always available to help keep the car running, providing setups and serving as crew during the races.”