Autobahn II: Andersen Racing race report

Andersen Racing Takes Second, Third and Fourth In Sunday's Star Mazda Race At Autobahn Country Club JOLIET, Ill., Aug. 1 - Two Andersen Racing drivers, Tristan Vautier and Anders Krohn, finished second and third in Sunday's Star Mazda race at ...

Andersen Racing Takes Second, Third and Fourth In Sunday's Star Mazda Race At Autobahn Country Club

JOLIET, Ill., Aug. 1 - Two Andersen Racing drivers, Tristan Vautier and Anders Krohn, finished second and third in Sunday's Star Mazda race at the Autobahn Country Club, while the Andersen Racing driver who won Saturday's race, Mikael Grenier, placed fourth.

Nick Andries placed tenth for the team Sunday and Dom Bastien was 21st in Round 9 of the series, which is presented by Goodyear.

Vautier was just 0.213 of a second behind polesitter and eventual winner Conor Daly in qualifying Sunday morning to earn a spot on the front row for the standing start Sunday afternoon. Krohn was just a heartbeat slower to earn the third starting position. Grenier qualified fifth; Andries 11th and Bastien 23rd.

The only change to the top four positions in the non-stop, 45-minute/21-lap race occurred at the start when Grenier blasted by the driver who had qualified fourth, Caio Lara, to earn that position.

Daly had over a 3-second lead several times, but Vautier had cut that to only 0.979 of a second at the checkered. The rookie from Corenc, France was rebounding from electrical problems with his car, which is sponsored by Moulin T.P., Cecibon, Circuit du Laquis, Fontanel Promotion and Allied Building Products Corp., in Saturday's race. Although Daly set the fastest lap of the race on lap seven with a 2:13.299, Vautier posted the second-fastest lap of the race with a 2:13.537 on the previous lap.

Grenier, of Stoneham, Quebec, was a little faster than Krohn but he could not find away around his teammate, a native of Stavanger, Norway who also resides in Houston. Krohn's No. 47, which is sponsored by Trallfa Industries, Colosseum Dental and Norse Cutting & Abandonment, was 3.850 seconds behind Vautier and 3.021 seconds ahead of Grenier's No. 17 at the finish. Grenier's car is sponsored by Slow Cow relaxation drink, April Super Flow, NAPA Auto Parts, HS Telecom and Desharnais.

Both Krohn and Grenier ran their fastest laps of the race on their ninth trip around the 3.56-mile, 19-turn road course. Grenier's time, a 2:13.725, was the third-fastest lap of the race while Krohn's 2:13.734 was fourth-fastest.

Andries, of Pinellas Park, Fla., ran in 11th position until he moved up to ninth on lap three with his No. 81, which is sponsored by the book "Indy 500: An American Icon;" Team Pelfrey and Andersen Racing's primary sponsor, Allied Building Products Corp. Carlos Linares got around Andries on lap 11 to push him back to tenth. Andries passed Linares back but he wasn't able to improve his overall position because Lara passed him in the late stages of the race as Lara rebounded from an early stop-and-go penalty.

Bastien, of West Palm Beach, Fla., steadily improved on his lap times with his No. 37, which advertises the team's 1-mile road course test track, Andersen RacePark. The race was part of the Harrah's Autobahn Grand Prix Presented by Mazda. It was covered live on HDNet thanks to support from VisitFlorida.com.

Unofficially Daly still leads the point standings, as he has 371 points to Krohn's 317. Lara is third with 291 but Grenier moves up to fourth with 289. Vautier, who has two victories, is fifth with 283, the most points of any rookie in the series. Neither Andries nor Bastien are running the complete schedule.

Daly now leads the point standings for the separate seven-race VisitFlorida.com Cup series but Krohn is second, Vautier is third and Grenier is fifth in those rankings.

Andersen Racing continues to lead the team point standings.

August is a busy month for the series. In addition to Sunday's race, it is scheduled to appear at Trois-Rivieres, Quebec Aug. 15; Road America Aug. 21 and Mosport Aug. 28. Details can be found on the series' Web site at starmazda.com.

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, which also staged a doubleheader here this weekend. Tonis Kasemets and Sage Karam won those races.

For more information see andersenracing.com, andersenkarting.com, andersenracepark.com and usf2000.com.

Post-race quotes follow:

Tristan Vautier: "It was a good race, and I'm glad to be back on the podium. My car was really good. The team reacted well to the electrical problem I had yesterday and fixed it, which can be very hard with electrical problems.

"I was just doing my race and concentrating on not making any mistakes. I was hoping Conor's car would fall off at the end. It happened, but too late."

Anders Krohn: "Yes, I'm happier today, of course! In hindsight I should remember that I haven't been feeling my best this weekend, so it feels good to be back on the podium. It also shows the strength of the Andersen Racing team to get us all up to pace.

"I didn't have any incidents today. It was a little close when we caught lapped traffic, but everything was OK. It was just flat-out driving for the full 45 minutes. And since I haven't been feeling well this weekend I was glad to get through all this, and to be back on the podium is great."

Mikael Grenier:  "The sandpaper came off my gas pedal, so my shoe was
getting stuck.  It was really annoying.

"I got a pretty good start. I went from P5 to P4 in Turn 1 on the first lap.

"I was faster than Anders but I didn't want to destroy my tires trying to pass him. He didn't make any mistakes, so I finished behind him.

"It was a good weekend. I got a win yesterday and P4 today, which is good for the points."

Nick Andries:  "My car was good.  It was completely different conditions
today, but it was a similar deal for me in traffic.  We had a good pace, but
it's just tough to pass here.  When you get behind people you get an aero
push.  You can catch them, but passing them is hard.

"I have a little doughnut on the side of my car from an incident with [Kevin] Toledo in Turn 1, but it was minor.

"I was to thank the team and my sponsors. Without them I wouldn't be able to be here, and I appreciate all their help."

Dom Bastien: "With no full-course yellows it was exhausting, but I feel that I had a very good race. At the start I stayed by myself, and I was able to improve my lap times systematically throughout the race. I set my fastest lap at the end and it was very close to my qualifying lap. So I set my second-best lap of the weekend at the end of today's race, which shows the great job the team did in preparing my car.

"I made a mistake in Turn 3 and spun and lost two positions, but I was able to regain one on the last lap.

"The Andersen Racing team did a great job. My teammates were second, third, fourth and 10th today, and I'm very happy about that."

-source: andersen racing

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About this article
Series Pro Mazda
Drivers Tonis Kasemets , Mikael Grenier , Caio Lara , Tristan Vautier , Conor Daly , Anders Krohn , Carlos Linares , Dom Bastien , Nick Andries , Sage Karam