Mosport: Andersen Racing race report

Three Andersen Racing Drivers Are in Top Six In Mosport's Star Mazda Race Saturday BOWMANVILLE, Ontario, Canada, Aug. 30 - Andersen Racing's Tristan Vautier, Anders Krohn and Mikael Grenier finished fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively, in...

Three Andersen Racing Drivers Are in Top Six In Mosport's Star Mazda Race Saturday

BOWMANVILLE, Ontario, Canada, Aug. 30 - Andersen Racing's Tristan Vautier, Anders Krohn and Mikael Grenier finished fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively, in Round 12 of the Star Mazda Championship Presented by Goodyear Saturday at Mosport International Raceway.

A fourth driver for the Palmetto, Fla.-based team, Nick Andries, rebounded from a flip a week ago at Road America to place 11th.

Nine of the 19 drivers in the 34-lap/45-minute race were within 1 second of each other Saturday morning during qualifications at the 2.459-mile, 10-turn road course, where the qualifying lap times took about 75 seconds. The field got strung out during the race, but a late caution when USF2000 driver Mikael Goikhberg crashed in Turn 1 set up a green-white-checkered finish.

Vautier, of Corenc, France, qualified third in the No. 38, which is sponsored by Moulin T.P., Cecibon, Circuit du Laquis, Fontanel Promotion and Allied Building Products Corp.

Grenier, of Stoneham, Quebec, was fourth for the standing start with his No. 17, which is sponsored by Slow Cow relaxation drink, April Super Flow, NAPA Auto Parts, HS Telecom and Desharnais.

Krohn, a native of Stavanger, Norway who also resides in Houston, started fifth while promoting his sponsors: Trallfa Industries, Colosseum Dental and Norse Cutting & Abandonment.

Andries, of Pinellas Park, Fla., started 11th in the No. 81, which advertises the book "Indy 500: An American Icon;" Team Pelfrey and Andersen Racing's primary sponsor, Allied Building Products Corp.

Krohn passed Grenier for fourth place on the first lap to make the top five Conor Daly, Jorge Goncalvez, Vautier, Krohn and Grenier. The Andersen trio ran together in that order until lap four, when Connor De Phillippi muscled by Grenier to take over fifth. De Phillippi then passed Krohn for fourth with eight laps down. Vautier ran in third place for 10 more laps until De Phillippi passed him with 18 laps down to push Vautier back to fourth. There were no other changes to the top six except for De Phillippi passing Goncalvez for second on lap 28 and Goncalvez getting him back on the white-flag lap.

Andries got as high as ninth place after he passed Caio Lara for that position with three laps down. Lara and Joao Horto passed him with five laps down to push him back to 11th. Andries got back into the top 10 by passing Horto with nine laps down, but he dropped from tenth to 16th with 14 laps down when he spun in Turn 5 about 19 minutes into the race. He moved up into 15th with 23 laps down when Goikhberg had his difficulties. Andries got another position by passing Tatiana Calderon with 28 laps complete. The restart really helped him, because he got 13th on lap 33 by passing Zach Meyer and 11th at the end when Juan Piedrahita fell back and he passed Horto.

Daly won the race by 0.764 of a second over Goncalvez and clinched the driver's championship, as Krohn was the only driver at Mosport who could have caught him. De Phillippi finished third in Saturday's race, 1.241 seconds ahead of Vautier, with Krohn and Grenier next across the line.

De Phillipi ran the fastest lap of the race with a 1:17.055 (114.884 miles per hour) on lap 11. The Andersen cars were set up to peak about the same time. Krohn had the fastest race lap among the quartet with a 1:17.333 (114.471 mph) on lap 11, but Vautier was only 0.001 of a second behind him with a 1:17.334 (114.470 mph) on lap 12. Grenier's fastest lap was a 1:17.575 (114.114 mph) on lap 10, while Andries posted a 1:17.743 (113.867 mph) on lap 11.

Only one race remains: the season finale Oct. 1 at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Ga. Both Saturday's race at Mosport and the Road Atlanta season finale will be broadcast on a tape-delayed basis on HDNet thanks to Mazda and VisitFlorida.com.

Unofficially Daly now has 502 points to Krohn's 420. Goncalvez, who finished second Saturday, is third with 381 points. De Phillippi moves up to fourth with 372 points. Grenier and Vautier are tied for fifth with 366 points. Andries and another Andersen Racing driver, Dom Bastien, aren't running the f ull schedule but they're 15th and 19th, respectively.

Krohn, Vautier and Grenier are still in contention for the Visit Florida Cup, a series-within-the-series that awards a Florida vacation to the winner compliments of VisitFlorida.com and Mazda.

Andersen Racing continues to lead the team point standings.

Tristan Vautier: "My car was really good in practice and in qualifying, so we had big hopes for the race. Unfortunately the track changed and we developed too much push. I really fought hard and I tried to be consistent, but halfway through De Phillippi got by and from then on I was all by myself.

"The race was pretty intense. Once the tires went off and the push got worse, it was a handful. It's disappointing because we were so good in practice.

"I'll go back to France now and then return to try again at Road Atlanta. I've never been there but of course the team has. We'll see how it will be!"

Anders Krohn: "We started fifth and spent the first few laps in fourth before being passed for fifth again. That's where we spent the rest of our race. We pulled away from the guys behind, but could not make up any time on the guys up front.

"The positive thing is that we have all but secured second place in the championship. I only have to start the next race, and if I didn't start the race, the third-place driver would have to finish second or first, so second is where we'll end up this year.

"We've been very consistent with 12 consecutive top-five finishes but really haven't had the pace to consistently challenge for race wins, which is a great shame. The team has been working flat out for so long, and I just wish I could have ended up one spot higher in the overall rankings.

"Now we finally get a break in our schedule, and I'll get the chance to go back to Norway for a few days after spending the last 13 weeks on the road. I hope to round out the season on a high note at Road Atlanta and would like to thank Andersen Racing yet again for all they have done for me the past few years."

Mikael Grenier: "I started fourth in the race and then fell to sixth quite quickly. We missed some speed all weekend, and at that point it was really hard for me to try something for fifth so I decided to just bring the car home and make some points.

"The team did a great job even if it was a hard weekend for us.  I would
like to give a special thanks to my dad.  We have had some hard times, and he
is really behind me.  Also thanks to all my sponsors and to Andersen Racing!"

Nick Andries: "Positioned on the grid and ready to go, I knew we had a good car. I jumped out to a decent start and stayed stationary until Turn 4, where I gained one position. Then two laps later I moved into ninth with a battle that started in Turn 8 until I completed the pass in Turn 10. The very next lap I pushed a bit too hard in Turn 10 and clipped the inside curb, tossing the car wide on exit and into the grass, and I lost those positions back.

"After another lap I got one position back and was tenth again. Another five laps later I ran down ninth place and caught eighth place. At this point I was 0.5 seconds faster than both eighth and ninth. I stayed close for a few laps trying to line up a move, but I made a costly mistake in Turn 5B. I carried a little too much speed over the crest of the hill in Turn 5A and got the car loose, then tried to go to power too soon to get a good run on the guys in front of me, spun out and stalled the car. I got it refired quickly but lost all my positions all the way back to 16th.

"After getting going I caught and passed two cars until a full-course caution came out. At this point I was 14th with two laps left when the race restarted. I got by one car for 13th on the first lap of the restart and got two more positions on the final lap to finish 11th.

"I had a stellar car and had fun being able to pass. I am a little disappointed because we had the potential for sixth or seventh. I set the seventh-fastest lap of the race with a 1:17:7 and the fastest was a 1:17.0.

"The positives are the pace is coming to us more and more. We are on the brink of some stellar finishes if I can put it together, and the car is in one piece and this time there were no flips!

"I want to thank my parents; family; Dale Pelfrey; the new book by Julie Studer, 'Indy 500: An American Icon;' Team Pelfrey; Andersen Racing and all my fans for all the support and faith they have given me!"

-source: andersen racing

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Series Pro Mazda
Drivers Mikael Grenier , Jorge Goncalvez , Caio Lara , Tristan Vautier , Conor Daly , Anders Krohn , Joao Horto , Juan Piedrahita , Tatiana Calderon , Dom Bastien , Nick Andries