Millville II: Andersen Racing race report

Andersen Racing's Vautier Wins Sunday at NJMP While Krohn Finishes Third in Star Mazda Action MILLVILLE, N.J., June 27 - New Jersey is home to Andersen Racing co-owners Dan and John Andersen, so they were especially pleased when one of...

Andersen Racing's Vautier Wins Sunday at NJMP While Krohn Finishes Third in Star Mazda Action

MILLVILLE, N.J., June 27 - New Jersey is home to Andersen Racing co-owners Dan and John Andersen, so they were especially pleased when one of their five drivers won Round 7 of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear Sunday at New Jersey Motorsports Park, and another finished third.

Although the Andersen brothers live in the Garden State, their drivers who finished on the podium Sunday couldn't live much further away. Tristan Vautier of Corenc, France out-dragged Conor Daly at the start and then led all 35 laps of the race. His teammate, Anders Krohn of Stavanger, Norway, ran in second place for seven laps but had to settle for third on the last lap when he lost all but sixth gear in his car two laps from the finish.

The strong showing continued the Palmetto, Fla.-based team's amazing record at the 2.17-mile, 14-turn road course near Atlantic City, as other Andersen Racing drivers won both ends of the doubleheader here last year and Krohn finished second in the first half of the doubleheader Saturday. The races were part of the Mazda Motorsports Festival presented by VisitFlorida.com, which was covered live on HDNet.

It was the second victory of the year for Vautier, who won the season opener and has vied for other victories only to see something thwart him from taking the checkered flag first with his No. 38, which is sponsored by Moulin T.P., Cecibon, Circuit du Laquis, Fontanel Promotion and Allied Building Products Corp. Although he's a rookie in the series, like all successful race car drivers he is convinced he can win every race he enters, and to his thinking this victory was long overdue. He was especially frustrated when he was served with a stop-and-go penalty Saturday for allegedly jumping the start of that race, and finished sixth when he thought he could have won.

After holding off severe pressure from Daly at the start on Sunday, Vautier had built up a 6.788-second lead by lap 27 with 10 minutes to go in the 45-minute race. On the next lap both Krohn and the driver who eventually finished second, Joao Horto, got by Daly, pushing the point leader back to fourth place. All of the front-runners were hampered by lapped traffic but Krohn stayed in second place until the last lap, when his gearbox problem allowed Horto to push him back to third. Krohn, who lives in Houston when he's in the United States, is sponsored by Trallfa Industries, Colosseum Dental and Norse Cutting & Abandonment.

A third Andersen Racing driver, Nick Andries of Pinellas Park, Fla., finished 12th on Sunday just like he did on Saturday. His car is sponsored by the book "Indy 500: An American Icon;" Team Pelfrey and Andersen Racing's primary sponsor, Allied Building Products Corp.

Dom Bastien of West Palm Beach, Fla., finished 19th Sunday in a car that advertised the team's 1-mile road course test track in Palmetto, Fla., Andersen RacePark.

Mikael Grenier of Stoneham, Quebec qualified third, sandwiched between Vautier and Krohn, but his hopes were dashed when he had contact with Daly at the start. He was forced to make a pit stop for repairs to his car, which is sponsored by Slow Cow relaxation drink, April Super Flow, NAPA Auto Parts, HS Telecom and Desharnais. Although he returned to the action he ended up 21st in the final rundown.

Krohn is still second in the point standings with 248 points to Daly's 289. Horto is third but Vautier moves up to fourth. Grenier is seventh. Andries and Bastien aren't doing the complete season but they're 18th and 20th, respectively. Andersen Racing continues to lead the team point standings, and Vautier and Krohn are first and second in the separate "Visit Florida Cup," which consists of seven of the championship's 13 events.

The next Star Mazda event is another doubleheader July 31-Aug. 1 at the Autobahn Country Club in Joliet, Ill. It will be shown on HDNet live too thanks to VisitFlorida.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. 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.

Post-race quotes follow:

Tristan Vautier: "It was so hot today. It was really hard mentally.

"We were three wide at the start. My start was decent. It was hard to keep the revs up. I guess I had a better start than Conor; I don't know. I didn't focus on Conor; I focused on what I was doing. I was on the inside.

"When I got the lead I pushed like hell. I don't think I've ever pushed so hard. I had to work hard, but the team gave me a great car that lasted all day.

"This series is very competitive, but we knew we had a good race car. This team just pushes so hard. They worked so hard at this doubleheader, and their hard work paid off.

"I knew I had to stay patient. I told myself 'Don't try any stupid moves. Stay calm!' I just tried to drive very clean. It is so easy to make a mistake.

"I had a problem with my earplugs and I couldn't hear what the team was saying on the radio. I could hear that they were talking, but I didn't know what they were saying.

"And I had no dashboard at the end either.

"I really thought about the team during this race. I really wanted to end this five-race nightmare. We should have won at Laguna, for sure. We have been so strong and yet we haven't won since Sebring. I was so happy I think I almost broke my dashboard on the last lap, I was pounding on it so hard.

"Yesterday still hurts. It feels so good to be back on top of the podium.

"Last night I was thinking 'When is this going to end?'

"I know I'm a rookie in this series, but I'm always looking to win. I have less experience than some of the other drivers, but that doesn't mean I can't win.

"It was good to have my dad here. He was feeling bad yesterday just like me. He gives me so much of himself to let me race. He always supports me in the hardest moments.

"My sponsors - Moulin T.P., Cecibon, Circuit du Laquis, Fontanel Promotion and Allied Building Products Corp. - make it happen too. And I want to thank Andersen Racing, Mazda, Goodyear and VisitFlorida.com too.

"I'm full of emotion today."

Anders Krohn: "My car got stuck in sixth gear on the last two laps of the race, and I had to let Joao go in the left-hander after Turn 5. There wasn't much I could do with just sixth gear.

"The lapped traffic bunched us all together at the end, so with the problem I had I was glad to still get third.

"I got Conor when he overshot Turn 2.

"Yes, Conor has a sizeable lead in the point standings, but we'll try to keep the momentum going and clip away at his point lead.

"We had a fantastic run!"

Nick Andries: "On the first lap I had contact in Turn 9, and it knocked out the right-front toe. After that I was just hanging on. There wasn't much to gain, so I was just on a Sunday drive in 13th and 12th place after that."

Dom Bastien: "My car was fantastic. I had a good start and I think for a while all the other Masters drivers were behind me. I kept my position for at least 15 laps. I was fighting for position when Tristan lapped me, and then Conor and Anders snuck by. In trying to stay out of their way I lost my concentration and I lost some positions with the cars I was battling. This track is very busy, and the heat completely wiped me out. This was one of my best races though!"

Mikael Grenier: "I went back out to try to get some points, but my race was over right at the start. I hit Conor and it damaged my front wing. It was just a racing incident, but it was my fault."

-source: andersen racing

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About this article
Series Pro Mazda
Drivers Mikael Grenier , Tristan Vautier , Conor Daly , Anders Krohn , Joao Horto , Dom Bastien , Nick Andries