Milwaukee is a Learning Experience For Andersen Racing's Star Mazda Drivers on Saturday WEST ALLIS, Wis., June 20 - Mikael Grenier and Denis Navarro finished 12th and 13th, respectively, for Andersen Racing at the Milwaukee Mile Saturday in...
Milwaukee is a Learning Experience For Andersen Racing's Star Mazda Drivers on Saturday
WEST ALLIS, Wis., June 20 - Mikael Grenier and Denis Navarro finished 12th and 13th, respectively, for Andersen Racing at the Milwaukee Mile Saturday in round six of the Star Mazda championship presented by Goodyear.
Unfortunately two other drivers for the Palmetto, Fla.-based team, Richard Kent and Conor Daly, were involved in an accident on the first lap and failed to finish the race. It was a huge disappointment for all involved, especially since Kent started on the pole here and Daly started third, and they each posted convincing victories at the doubleheader in New Jersey just last weekend.
Luckily neither Kent nor Daly were hurt in the Turn 1 accident, and the damage to their cars was not extensive. Kent, of Clifton Reynes, England, drives the No. 33 sponsored by Traka and Allied Interior Products. Daly, a MAZDASPEED Motorsports driver from Noblesville, Ind., drives the No. 22 sponsored by Indeck, Cytomax, College Network and Merchant Services.
All four Andersen Racing drivers were making their first oval-track start.
Grenier started 16th in the 22-car field, but the rookie from Stoneham, Quebec was able to improve four positions with his No. 17 sponsored by NAPA Auto Parts, CAA-Quebec, HS Telecom, Desharnais Pneus et Mecanique, 66graphx and VSM Racing.
Navarro, of Sao Paulo, Brazil, started 14th and finished 13th with his No. 21 sponsored by Navarro Medicines Distribution and Allied Interior Products.
Anders Krohn, who won last year's Formula 2000 championship driving for Andersen Racing, won the 100-lap race over Adam Christodoulou, Alex Ardoin, Peter Dempsey and Jorge Goncalvez.
Rain on Friday played havoc to the event schedule. Star Mazda qualifying was scrubbed and the starting grid was based on each driver's fastest practice lap on Friday. That was great news for Kent, who got the pole with a time of 27.971 seconds (128.705 miles per hour), and for Daly, who started third with a lap that was only 0.022 of a second longer than Kent's.
Christodoulou regained the points lead following Milwaukee. He leads Dempsey by four points, 211 to 207. Joel Miller is third with 194.
Daly is now tied for sixth with Krohn. Kent is ninth, Grenier is tenth and Navarro is 13th.
Andersen Racing remains second in the team point standings.
The next Star Mazda race is on another oval - Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa - on July 10. That is the same track where the RLR/Andersen Racing Firestone Indy Lights drivers are competing today. For more information on the Star Mazda series, see its Web site at starmazda.com.
Allied Building Products Corp. and Lafarge North America sponsor Andersen Racing, the development team of Rahal Letterman Racing. The team's Web site is located at andersenracingteam.com. Information on the team's 1-mile road course test track at its headquarters can be found online at andersenracepark.com. The series' Web site is at starmazda.com.
Post-race quotes follow:
Mikael Grenier: "My car was OK; it could have been better and it could have been worse. It was very good considering that we didn't have much practice here due to the rain and my crash in practice. That happened in the last corner. I hit the wall and missed most of the second practice session.
"It was really hard to pass during the race. Everyone was quick. It was just a bad weekend for us. We'll try again in Iowa."
Denis Navarro: "I had some handling issues, but I played with the bars and learned how to adapt. It was my first oval race ever, and I was able to finish all 100 laps. I finished right behind one of my teammates, too. I learned a lot, all of which will help when we go to Iowa."
Richard Kent: "I got together with Conor in Turn 1 on the first lap. The car isn't too bad. It wasn't a big crash, really; it's just very disappointing.
"We had a good car. We started on the pole since we had the fastest time in practice. Unfortunately it just wasn't our day today. We'll try again in Iowa."
Conor Daly: "I don't really know what happened. It was an unfortunate turn of events.
"Before that, I really enjoyed it. We were running strong and were in position to have a good run. It just didn't work out that way.
"My car isn't too bad. There's some right-front suspension damage and damage to the front wing. We'll try again in Iowa."