PALMETTO, Fla. – A familiar and respected face around the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires paddock, Jonny Baker will join Andersen Promotions in a newly-created position as Series Development Director for all three levels of the IndyCar ladder system.
Baker will step into his new post immediately, fresh off the conclusion of the Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires, Pro Mazda Championship presented by Cooper Tires and Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship powered by Mazda season finales at Portland Int’l Raceway this past weekend.
His role will be multifaceted, but Baker’s primary focus will be as a liaison with current teams and drivers to understand their challenges, assist in development of the Mazda Road to Indy in the recruitment of prospective drivers and teams, and as an advisor to Andersen Promotions on key areas for continued growth.
Baker will be visiting racing events around the world in his new series development role, and will be providing feedback to ensure that the three ladder series remain competitive on a global basis compared to other motorsport platforms on offer.
“I am very excited for this new opportunity with Andersen Promotions,” said Baker. “For a number of reasons in my life, I had to take the tough decision to move on from Team Pelfrey, and I can’t thank Dale Pelfrey and the team enough for all they have done for me. I am passionate about this sport and the Mazda Road to Indy and, having spoken with Dan [Andersen] and Michelle [Kish], it became clear that there was a very exciting opportunity to become involved with the series. I have had a relationship with them since 2007, and it has come back around full circle.
“Having been a former driver and team manager, I understand the paddock from both a driver and team perspective, and there are several key areas where I feel I can have an immediate impact,” Baker added. “Getting young and exciting driving talent interested and involved with the Mazda Road to Indy has been one of my key roles in years gone by, and I am excited to continue this in my new capacity. The Mazda Road to Indy has so much to offer with its development system, scholarships, track time, venues, etc., and I will be helping to spread this message far and wide.”
Co-founder alongside Anders Krohn of the highly successful CoForce consulting, marketing and digital agency in 2011, Baker most recently served as general manager for Team Pelfrey’s USF2000 and Pro Mazda programs from 2014 to this season, overseeing multiple race and championship wins.
In addition to his former role as Director of Driver Development at Andersen Racing, Baker was also Track Manager at Andersen RacePark for five years, from start-up to successful development of the corporate and competition karting facility in Palmetto, Fla.
Baker holds a Business Administration Degree from the University of the West of England. His racing exploits include British Formula Ford, USF2000 and Pro Mazda from 2005 to 2008.
“We are very excited to welcome Jonny to our team,” said Dan Andersen, owner and CEO of Andersen Promotions. “I have known him for over a decade, and believe he will be a tremendous asset not only to Andersen Promotions but our teams and drivers. This new position is something we have been thinking about for a while, but we needed the right person. When we learned he was available, it was a no brainer.
“Jonny already has a working relationship with our current staff, partners and most of the paddock and is up-to-date on everything Mazda Road to Indy-wise. As opposed to bringing someone in from the outside and getting them up to speed, this will be a seamless transition and he can hit the ground running. We have a great product in place, but we are always looking at ways to be better. Jonny will be a welcome addition.”
Baker will make his first trackside appearance in his new role at the annual Chris Griffis Memorial Open Test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, September 22-23.