Published on August 20th, 2015 | by Ryan Turner0
A small peak inside Andretti Autosports
It may surprise you to know this but I’m not formally a member of any VW club. Even with all of my VW stuff and working on them as much as I do. I also don’t make it to a whole lot of car shows. It seems that I am usually too busy Volkswagening to VW it up, if that makes any sense.
But a local car club, Circle City VW Club, was having a get together at Andretti Autosport and Buck Bailey, the club’s president, was nice enough to invite me to tag along. Needless to say I was stoked.
The meeting was to be held on a sunday from 2-4pm and we were on a tight schedule to stay on time. I have to admit that I was surprised when it was 4:08 and we were finished up. We even helped clean up and put up the tables and chairs. Not too shabby for VW folks if I do say so myself.
We entered Andretti through a side door into a large room where they kept all of the trailers used to transport crews and vehicles alike. On one wall was a massive rack from floor to ceiling showing off famous past F1 cars and prototypes. It was truly something awesome to look at. The trailers were opened up for us to walk around and tour. It was amazing to see how everything was nicely packed into such a small space from a full office with couches and video review equipment to a full work space with 3 axis mill and lathe. There was a place for everything and everything was in fact in its place. So different from my shop it was refreshing, and made me feel a little bad about myself at the same time.
Drinks and food were served and shortly after that they broke us up into groups to tour the facility. Fun time was about to begin.
Touring the Andretti workshop was a glimpse into automotive heaven. Walking into the room we were greeted by Tanner Foust’s GRC Beetle smiling at you and just daring you to come over and touch it naughtily, which I did. Just don’t tell anyone. Rows and rows of body work both new and mangled sat in front of it by another car trailer waiting for the next race to come. Across the aisle an Andretti dirt track car sat on stands partially disassembled waiting for new parts.
Walking around the MazdaSpeed series cars and the F1 cars the thing that struck me as funny was they all used the same basic VW magnetic pickup speed sensor on all the cars. And they may be different, but at a passing glance they looked like your basic speed sensor. But why change a good thing?
Exiting the shop floor we got to tour the graphics department where all of the cars are designed, the marketing material is created, and the mojo happens. Andretti has a full service graphics production capabilities in house and they use it to its fullest extent. Rolls of vinyl were scattered about. Drawings of race car livery on the desk and pinned up on the wall along with a large photo of Bill Murray admonishing all to ‘Be Awesome’ gave the room a feeling that awesomeness was made there.
When we reentered the shop floor there were a few F1 cars up on stands for testing. One had all of the body work removed and thermo-couplers up and down the exhaust and turbos. A complete lower aero setup was on the stand across from it. At this point I was really wishing that we were allowed to take pictures. We continued back to their full service fab shop with CNC machines, tubing benders, full metal fabrication facilities and what I’m guessing is a huge 3D printer somewhere because there was a full sized 3D printed transmission case sitting off to one side. They also had a couple full paint booths too.
Overall I imagine this is what my shop might look like if money was no option and I could spend it in whatever way I wanted. But too soon 4pm came and it was time to step back into reality and drive my beater MK4 back home.
Special thanks go out to CCVW and Andretti Autosport for allowing me to tour the place and for being such an awesome group of people.
Now time for more pictures !