Laguna Seca: Andersen Racing race report

Andersen Racing's Krohn and Grenier Record Podium Finishes; Vautier Leads First Half of Race In Star Mazda Action at Mazda Raceway SALINAS, Calif., May 23 - Andersen Racing's Anders Krohn and Mikael Grenier finished second and third,...

Andersen Racing's Krohn and Grenier Record Podium Finishes; Vautier Leads First Half of Race In Star Mazda Action at Mazda Raceway

SALINAS, Calif., May 23 - Andersen Racing's Anders Krohn and Mikael Grenier finished second and third, respectively, Sunday at Mazda Raceway in Round 3 of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear.

Their teammate, Tristan Vautier, led the first 16 laps of the 31-lap race until a pushrod broke on his car in the Corkscrew. After it was replaced he returned to the action and collected the 15th-place points.

Vautier, of Corenc, France, took the green flag in third place but had an amazing start. He passed both Krohn, who started second, and Conor Daly, the polesitter and eventual winner, before even one lap was in the books. He survived a restart on lap two and had more than a 1-second lead over Daly by lap 15 until the suspension piece broke on his No. 38, which is sponsored by Moulin T.P., Cecibon, Circuit du Laquis and Fontanel Promotion.

Daly inherited the lead at that point and with few places to pass, he had a comfortable advantage over Krohn's No. 47 at the checkered. Houston-based Krohn, a native of Stavanger, Norway, is sponsored by Trallfa Industries, Colosseum Dental, Norse Cutting & Abandonment, Bring Logistics US Inc., SR Transport, ZATGraphics.com, Rioja Tapas Restaurant, Eagles Canyon Raceway and Repcon Media.

Grenier, of Stoneham, Quebec, chased Krohn the whole way to finish third, 1.935 seconds behind his teammate. Grenier did a great job to hold off the fourth-place driver, Connor De Phillippi, who set some of the fastest laps of the 45-minute race. Grenier, who is the same age as his car number, 17, is sponsored by Slow Cow relaxation drink, April Super Flow, NAPA Auto Parts, HS Telecom and Desharnais.

Krohn is now second in the point standings and Grenier is third. Vautier is fifth in the current championship standings, just one point out of fourth, and he leads the Rookie of the Year standings. Andersen Racing also increased its lead in the team point standings.

The next race is coming right up this coming Saturday on the oval at O'Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis.

Anders Krohn: "It's nice to finally get my first podium of the year. We've certainly had the pace to get a podium everywhere we've raced, but this was my first one of the year.

"My race was very uneventful. Tristan had the best start; it was the start of a lifetime really. He was controlling the pace, and I feel sad for him that a pushrod broke.

"There are very limited passing opportunities here, so I was just stuck behind them. But I gathered good points for the championship. Two people from Bring Logistics were here, and it was nice to give them a podium finish.

"I want to thank the team for their hard work. Now it's time to get the first win of the year at O'Reilly Raceway Park!"

Mikael Grenier: "Connor de Phillippi was quick, but I knew what to do to keep him behind me. He went off at the beginning of the race and when he was behind me he had no aero push.

"We really improved the car over the weekend. It was a good race for our team; we increased our lead in the team point standings and I moved up too. I'm looking forward to the oval at O'Reilly Raceway Park this coming Saturday. I think we'll be strong there too."

Tristan Vautier: "It was just bad luck. The track is really demanding on pushrods.

"It happened step by step. I felt something in Corner 6 the lap before it went. The car just felt different. Then the wheels locked. I had a big compression in Turn 6, but I didn't hit the curb or anything. The car just felt very weird.

"Then in the Corkscrew it broke totally, and I went off on the run-off. I got back to the pits and just went back out to score a few points.

"It's sad because I was controlling the race.

"I had a good start. I got by Anders a few meters after the start. Then I went sideways with Conor in Turn 2 and I just out-braked him. I was on the outside. I didn't think I could pass him there, but it worked out. I gave him just enough room for us not to have contact but for me to get the lead.

"Thanks to the team for the great car and to the sponsors for making it possible for me to be here. I'm really looking forward to my first oval race on Saturday at O'Reilly Raceway Park."

-source: anderson racing

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About this article
Series Pro Mazda
Drivers Mikael Grenier , Tristan Vautier , Conor Daly , Anders Krohn , Connor de Phillippi