Iowa: Andersen Racing race report

Andersen Racing Earns One Top-Five And Two Top-10s in Star Mazda Action At Iowa Speedway Saturday Night NEWTON, Iowa, June 19 - Andersen Racing's Anders Krohn finished fifth, newcomer Nick Andries placed sixth, Tristan Vautier was eighth and ...

Andersen Racing Earns One Top-Five And Two Top-10s in Star Mazda Action At Iowa Speedway Saturday Night

NEWTON, Iowa, June 19 - Andersen Racing's Anders Krohn finished fifth, newcomer Nick Andries placed sixth, Tristan Vautier was eighth and Mikael Grenier ran second for about 35 laps until trouble struck at the halfway point of the Pizza Ranch 100 Saturday at Iowa Speedway. The 100-lap race was the fifth of 13 races in the 2010 Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear.

Unofficially Krohn is now second in the point standings, Grenier is fourth, Vautier is sixth and Andries, who has only done two races, is 23rd.

The team experienced excessive wear with their cars' right-front tires, and all but Andries made pit stops to change that tire during the race.

Grenier started third but vaulted into second place at the start. At times he was only 1 second or 1.5 seconds behind the polesitter and eventual winner, Conor Daly, but Daly had a 3-second lead over him on lap 34 before it became evident that Grenier was dealing with some problems.

On lap 35 the 17-year-old from Stoneham, Quebec dropped from second to fourth, and he had slipped to seventh by lap 40. Two laps later he pitted under green to change his tire, which dropped him to ninth. He advanced one spot but then with 48 laps down he spun on cold tires and backed into the Turn 2 wall to bring out the event's only full-course caution flag. He suffered a bruised knee in the crash and his car, which is sponsored by Slow Cow relaxation drink, April Super Flow, NAPA Auto Parts, HS Telecom and Desharnais, was done for the evening. Grenier had held the second-fastest lap of the race until that point.

Krohn, of Stavanger, Norway, started fourth. He dropped back to sixth initially when a rival ahead of him missed a shift, and ran in that spot until Grenier dropped back to advance Krohn's No. 47 to fifth. Krohn pitted for a tire change on lap 58 under the full-course yellow for Grenier's accident, but due to the Palmetto, Fla.-based team's excellent pit work he was still sixth when the race restarted on lap 63.

Krohn, who is sponsored by Trallfa Industries, Colosseum Dental and Norse Cutting & Abandonment, passed Andries on that restart and they ran in fifth and sixth place until the finish.

Andries, of Pinellas Park, Fla., started 12th and advanced the most positions of anyone on the team Saturday even though this was only his second Star Mazda event and his first oval-track race in a formula car. He broke into the top-10 on lap 13, got ninth on lap 21, and moved up to eighth when Vautier dropped a spot on lap 25. He got seventh when Grenier pitted and sixth when Chris Miller did the same. He was fifth for a few laps under the yellow while others pitted, and finished sixth after Krohn passed him on the restart.

Andries' car advertised Julie Studer's new book about the Indianapolis 500 entitled "Indy 500: An American Icon;" Team Pelfrey and Andersen Racing's primary sponsor, Allied Building Products Corp. The book may be ordered on-line through Indy500AnAmericanIcon.com.

Vautier, of Corenc, France, started eighth and finished eighth. He had his hands full battling both an understeer condition and tire problems throughout the race with his car, which is sponsored by Moulin T.P., Cecibon, Circuit du Laquis, Fontanel Promotion and Allied Building Products Corp.

Vautier, who won the season opener at Sebring, Fla., was tenth when he pitted for a new right-front Goodyear tire under green on lap 35, losing a couple laps and dropping to 14th. He was back in the top-10 right before Grenier's accident, and got eighth under yellow when others pitted.

The drivers don't have long before they can try again, as the series will stage a doubleheader next weekend, June 26-27, at New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville, N.J. It will be carried live on HDNet. Live timing and scoring will also be available on the series' Web site at startmazda.com.

This month Andersen Racing is supporting Give Kids the World's quest to win the Pepsi Refresh Project by running decals on the team's race cars to advertise the effort.

Throughout the month of June, the non-profit organization is asking everyone to log on to www.refresheverything.com/givekidstheworld and vote to "Refresh the Village." If Give Kids The World receives the most votes in June, Pepsi will give the organization a grant for $250,000. The funds will be used to refurbish the villas that children with life-threatening illnesses and their families stay in during their visits to Give Kids The World, which is located in Kissimmee, Fla. More information on the non-for-profit organization can be found at givekidstheworld.org.

Andersen Racing, which is sponsored by Allied Building Products Corp., is one of the leading development teams in North America. It offers extensive karting programs from its base at Andersen RacePark, a 1-mile road course in Palmetto, Fla. In addition to its Star Mazda team it also fields cars in Firestone Indy Lights. A sister company, Andersen Promotions, administers the USF2000 National Championship presented by Cooper Tires and powered by Mazda.

For more information see andersenracingteam.com, starmazda.com, andersenkarting.com, andersenracepark.com and usf2000.com.

Post-race quotes follow:

Anders Krohn: "At the start of the race a guy in front of me missed a shift or something and I had to brake, which is why I fell back at the start. Then I had too big an aero push to get around anybody.

"Maybe 15 laps into the race I was dealing with big chunks of rubber coming off my right-front tire, a massive push and a big vibration, but I kept going. Then when the safety car came out we pitted under yellow to change the tire. The team did a great pit stop; they were like a Formula 1 or an IZOD IndyCar Series pit crew, and we didn't lose a lap. That was massive!

"On the restart I was able to pass about five or six cars on the outside. Some of them were lapped cars, but I was happy to get up to fifth.

"About 20 laps to go I got the vibration again and I thought I was going to crash about 15 times in the last 15 laps. It was one of the toughest races ever.

"We're always up there, but the bad part is that I haven't won a race. To be able to do a pit stop and still get a top-five finish is remarkable.

"My teammates and I are pushing each other so hard to make it happen because the guys deserve a win; they really do! I want to reward this team with a win so bad!"

Nick Andries: "Geoff and Steve and the whole Andersen Racing team made it really easy to adapt to my first oval-track race. The environment on this team is great. My car was solid and consistent. With about 25 laps to go I was as fast as I'd been all race.

"I didn't have to pit, but I only had a few laps left on my right-front tire. We talked about pitting under the yellow, but I didn't feel any vibration so I stayed out. Looking at the tire now, I was lucky to finish.

"I want to thank the team; my parents; my sponsors, the book 'Indy 500: An American Icon,' Team Pelfrey and Allied Building Products Corp., and everybody back home who was watching the race on the Internet. I'm sure they had a computer hooked up to the biggest screen they could find!"

Tristan Vautier: "I had a proper start even though I was on the outside, which was quite tough. I tried to work with Chris Miller but he must not have seen me or something and I had to brake and I lost a lot of time.

"Pretty soon I could see that my right-front tire was not going to last. Chunks of rubber were coming off, and I didn't want it to explode. So about the 20th lap or so they called me into the pits.

"I thought my race was done; I didn't know they were going to change my tire and send me back out. The team did a very good job in the pits. We lost some laps, but when I got back onto the track I was fast. But then the understeer was coming back. I had nothing to gain so I kind of backed off to just finish and get some points, although I was really quick at the end of the race.

"We were fighting all weekend with an understeer on my car, and we didn't manage to solve it. It was a hard weekend. But now we're going back to the road courses next weekend. Hopefully all the hard work the team does will pay off soon."

Mikael Grenier: "I was second for awhile. But then my right-front tire was going flat, so we pitted to change it. Then I lost the car on cold tires in Turn 2 and backed it into the wall. My knee is sore, but that's it."

-source: andersen racing

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About this article
Series Pro Mazda
Drivers Mikael Grenier , Tristan Vautier , Conor Daly , Anders Krohn , Chris Miller , Nick Andries