Andersen Racing Earns Another Star Mazda Team Championship; Krohn and Bastien Finish on the Podium Friday at Road Atlanta BRASELTON, Ga., Oct. 2 - Three-fourths of the Andersen Racing drivers were in the top seven, two were on the podium and the ...
Andersen Racing Earns Another Star Mazda Team Championship; Krohn and Bastien Finish on the Podium Friday at Road Atlanta
BRASELTON, Ga., Oct. 2 - Three-fourths of the Andersen Racing drivers were in the top seven, two were on the podium and the Palmetto, Fla.-based team came away with its second Star Mazda team championship in the last three years after the red clay around Road Atlanta settled following the series' season finale Friday.
The team finished the series, which is presented by Goodyear, with 339 points to Juncos Racing's 324 after 13 races stretching from March to October.
In addition to 2010, Andersen Racing won the Star Mazda team championship in 2008. It finished second in those standings in 2009.
Anders Krohn, a native of Stavanger, Norway who also resides in Houston, was the team's highest-placing driver. He finished second to Conor Daly in the driver championship and second to Connor De Phillippi in Friday's race.
Another Andersen Racing driver, Tristan Vautier of Corenc, France, finished fifth for the year with two victories. He also finished fifth in Friday's race. He was second in the Rookie of the Year standings.
Mikael Grenier of Stoneham, Quebec missed the season finale but he ended up eighth in the final driver point standings with one victory.
Nick Andries of Pinellas Park, Fla. didn't run a complete Star Mazda schedule but he was 15th in the final point standings. His primary focus was the Skip Barber National series this year, and he won that series' season finale at Road Atlanta a few hours after he finished seventh in the Star Mazda race.
Andries also won the $5,000 Quartermaster Clutch Performance Award as the driver who increased his finishing positions the most in the second half of the season.
The team's fourth driver here, Dom Bastien of West Palm Beach, Fla., also only ran in selected races but he was 19th overall and third in the Masters series for the season. He took the top honors in that class in Friday's race for the first time ever and joined Krohn and the other podium finishers in victory lane.
Krohn and Vautier finished second and third, respectively, in the Visit Florida Cup, a separate ranking of seven races within the championship that carried a top prize of a Florida vacation from VisitFlorida.com.
In addition, the team's equipment manager, Dennis Watley, earned the prestigious President's Award from the series president, Gary Rodrigues. It is given to the person involved in the series who best exemplifies the spirit of Formula Mazda, Rodrigues said.
Qualifications were unusual. Carlos Linares hit the wall in Turn 1 at the start of the session on Thursday and then it started to rain. Most drivers only recorded one or two laps, but they counted. Krohn ended up fourth; Vautier sixth; Andries 11th and Bastien 14th for the standing start for Friday's 45-minute, 34-lap race.
Things didn't go well for Krohn at the start, as he had slipped to seventh by the end of lap one. He regained sixth by lap two and then got fifth on lap five. Krohn, who is sponsored by Trallfa Industries, Colosseum Dental and Norse Cutting & Abandonment, finally got back to where he started on lap 12 when he passed Caio Lara for fourth.
He took third on lap 18 when Martin Scuncio, who had been in that position, spun in the last turn. He had an incident with the second-place driver, Conor Daly, late in the race and spun in Turn 10, but Krohn was able to regroup and took the checkered flag in that spot. He was later awarded second place when Daly was penalized for blocking him on the next-to-last lap and making him spin out.
Vautier, who is sponsored by Moulin T.P., Cecibon, Circuit du Laquis, Fontanel Promotion and Allied Building Products Corp., moved into fifth place on lap one but he dropped to ninth when he spun in Turn 5 on lap five by himself. He had to play catch-up from that point on. He got eighth on lap seven, seventh on lap 11 and sixth on lap 13. He regained fifth on lap 29 by passing Lara and went on to take the checkered in that position.
Andries ran in 11th or 12th place for the first 13 laps and then moved into tenth by passing Rusty Mitchell on lap 14. He got ninth by passing Juan P iedrahita on lap 17 and eighth by passing Jorge Goncalvez on lap 19. He got one more spot on the very last lap when he passed Joao Horto, which should make for good television when the race is broadcast on HDNet. It was also good exposure for his sponsors: the book "Indy 500: An American Icon;" Team Pelfrey and Andersen Racing's primary sponsor, Allied Building Products Corp.
Bastien, whose car advertises Andersen RacePark, was so determined to be conservative and stay out of trouble that it affected his rhythm. He posted faster lap times in practice but the approach paid off at the end because he got the Masters class victory with a 16th-place finish overall.
Andersen Racing is one of the leading development teams in North America. It offers karting programs at Andersen RacePark and it has professional kart teams in addition to its Star Mazda and Firestone Indy Lights teams. A sister company, Andersen Promotions, administers the USF2000 National Championship presented by Cooper Tires and powered by Mazda.
Post-race quotes follow:
Anders Krohn: "I got second because Conor Daly was penalized for blocking. I'm glad to see that justice prevailed, and I'm glad for another podium and another top-five finish.
"On the grid we had some problems going from the throttle to the brake, so I lost some time on the standing start. I was also hit in the left-rear wheel at the start. I'm not sure who hit me though; we were all very close.
"The blocking problem occurred on the second-to-last lap. Conor blocked me very badly going into Turn 10A. I was passing him on the left, and he ran me into the grass. I braked and I spun to avoid the crash, and kept the engine running and kept going.
"The team worked so hard, and I had such a fast race car today. I haven't a car that was this good all year. We found something during the break after Mosport. We really had a fast car today.
"We finished second in the driver championship, second in the VisitFlorida.com Cup and we won the team championship. I'm proud of the boys for all their hard work.
"I have to thank everyone at Andersen Racing for all their help this year. In my opinion this is the best team in the world, and I hope to stay with them for many more years.
"I also have to thank my sponsors. Trallfa Industries, which has been with me from the start, is here today and I can't thank them and my other sponsors enough for their support.
"I also want to thank Mazda, Goodyear, VisitFlorida.com and HDNet. This series is neat because you get to know the Mazda guys, and I really want to thank them for their support.
"It's such a professional program. I would recommend Star Mazda to anybody. It's a great pleasure being in your series."
Tristan Vautier: "I got a great start, but Scuncio turned in on me about 50 meters after the grid and I got sandwiched between some other cars.
"After that I was catching Lara, but I made a mistake in Turn 5. I tou ched the outside curb and did a 360-degree spin and came back on the track very far from the leaders.
"The car was good. I think I could have been there without that problem.
"I want to thank the team for all their hard work. I would like to go to Firestone Indy Lights next year, but we'll see."
Nick Andries: "At the beginning of the race I couldn't get off Turn 7, and it's important to be good there because it leads to a long straightaway where you can pass. But I couldn't get a run on the guys there at first. But then the car came in, and that was the key to the race. From then on, once I got in clean air I could hustle the car.
"We were a little faster than Horto. On the last lap Horto caught a lapped car, and I got in his draft on the backstretch and I out-braked him in Turn 10A and got seventh on the last lap.
"I want to thank my sponsors and I want to thank Andersen Racing. I want to thank Andersen Racing not only for giving me a good car, but also for helping me to develop my skills. I think I made huge gains this year. They made it easy for me to adapt to Star Mazda from Skip Barber."
Dom Bastien: "That was the slowest race I've ever been in, but it worked out great! Many thanks to Andersen Racing for providing me with a great car, like always.
"I tried to build a gap on my rival in the Masters class and drive a conservative race, and it worked out. I also tried to stay out of the way of the faster drivers, and this time I succeeded. Being on the podium is a great way to end the season, and my thanks again to the Andersen Racing team."
-source: andersen racing
Road Atlanta: Race results
Road Atlanta: Connor De Phillippi event report