St. Pete: Andersen Racing qualifying report

Andersen Racing's Krohn Qualifies Fourth As Lara's Crash Shortens Session Saturday in Star Mazda Action ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., March 27 - Andersen Racing's Anders Krohn posted the best results for Palmetto, Fla.-based Andersen Racing Saturday ...

Andersen Racing's Krohn Qualifies Fourth As Lara's Crash Shortens Session Saturday in Star Mazda Action

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., March 27 - Andersen Racing's Anders Krohn posted the best results for Palmetto, Fla.-based Andersen Racing Saturday morning during qualifications for the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear, which is appearing at the St. Petersburg street course for the first time ever. Krohn, a Norwegian who now lives in Houston, will start fourth in the 23-car field when the series' race gets off to a standing start Sunday at 11:50 a.m.

The team's strategy for qualifications was adversely affected by circumstances beyond its control. Under the series' rules, if a driver pits for fresh Goodyear Eagles during the qualifying session, the times he has posted earlier in the session are thrown out and he has to start all over. Since the track conditions were improving throughout the session, the team gambled on changing tires in an effort to improve its speeds.

Although that worked beautifully when the team qualified first through third for the season opener last week in Sebring, Fla., today that strategy was spoiled when Caio Lara crashed and caused an extended red flag. Luckily Lara was not hurt, but Andersen Racing's Tristan Vautier and Mikael Grenier both ran out of time. Vautier, who won the race at Sebring, will start 13th tomorrow. Grenier fared even worse because he only had two laps that counted, so he'll start 21st in the 23-car field.

Two other Andersen Racing drivers who were in the first group for qualifications fared better. Although their session was slowed by a red flag too, Court Vernon qualified ninth and Nick Andries qualified 11th. Vernon, of Key Biscayne, Fla., is making his second start with the team, while Andries, of Pinellas Park, Fla., is making his debut both in this series and as a member of Andersen Racing.

Anders Krohn: "We had a different strategy than some of the other teams and it would have worked well, but the red flag came out and stayed out and that spoiled our chances. Everybody on the team is sad about what happened. I got one half-decent lap in, but it was less than ideal. That being said, the team has done an incredible job of preparing a car that is fast on both new and old tires. Tomorrow we have to climb back up and take the rest of them."

Court Vernon: "We got cut out on time a little bit at the end because of a red flag too, but I was still able to qualify ninth. The track was getting better and better every lap. Overall I think we have a good car for the race; everything is hooked up and feels great. This is my new favorite track for sure."

Nick Andries: "My car was good. I think 11th is not bad for my first qualifying session in this series. We've been getting faster and faster every session. It's just a case of me getting comfortable with the car and the track. I'm working with the engineers, and we think we can go faster tomorrow in the race. This is an awesome team."

Tristan Vautier: "It was frustrating because we weren't able to fight for a better starting position. It was a team decision and we agreed all together, but it didn't go well. It was something we couldn't control. It's frustrating because the team gave me an incredible car; the set-up is fantastic. I was second in both practice sessions. The team did a great job. We'll see how tomorrow goes. I hope we can make some points."

Mikael Grenier: "Our strategy didn't work out because of the red flag. We went out on new tires and then the crash happened and the session was over, so we have to start 21st. I think the half-lap I did on new tires was the best lap I did so far here. But this is a street course and it's going to be hard to pass tomorrow in the race. We'll try to do like we did at Trois-Rivieres and take it lap by lap and see what we can do."

-source: anderson racing

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About this article
Series Pro Mazda
Drivers Mikael Grenier , Caio Lara , Tristan Vautier , Anders Krohn , Court Vernon , Nick Andries