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Indy Lights Team News - Krohn Takes First Laps At Indy

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INDIANAPOLIS, May 14, 2011: On Friday Anders “The Viking” Krohn accomplished what many great drivers never get the opportunity to do when he drove a race car at speed at one of the most famous racetracks in the world, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

After he completed his first circuit around the 2.5-mile oval in the Belardi Auto Racing No. 9 Krohn followed it up with 79 more laps during the four-hour Firestone Indy Lights open test. His next-to-last lap was his fastest, and put him tenth in the field of 18 for the test with an average speed of 188.549 miles per hour.

Krohn, 23, a native of Stavanger, Norway who lives in Houston, Texas, was practicing for the series’ premier event, the Firestone Freedom 100. It will be broadcast live on Versus during coverage that begins at noon Eastern time on Friday, May 27.

Liberty Engineering, Logi Trans Offshore Express, Trallfa, PM International Suppliers, Allied Building Products, ZAT Graphics, Eagles Canyon Raceway, OMP and Bell Helmets sponsor Krohn’s bright-red car.

Although No. 9 was in the top 10 on the famous scoring pylon throughout the test, on Friday Krohn’s goal was not to see how fast he could go but rather to get acclimated to the Brickyard.

“I’ve never raced here, so my goal was to just get to know the place,” he said on pit road after the test concluded. “Part of the crew has many years of experience here but some of us don’t. You hear so many stories that you want to sort it out for yourself. But it took me only a lap to realize that this place is as grand as they all say.

“Today I learned what I can and can’t do in a draft here,” he added. “I know what I need to do to keep progressing. I didn’t want the test session to end; I just want to keep going and going and learning as much as possible.”

Despite it being Friday the 13th, there were no accidents.

“I didn’t really have any moments,” Krohn said. “I had a couple of good battles but everyone used their heads and drove cleanly, which is just the way you want a test day to go.”

Driving at such a historic facility was not lost on The Viking.

“At first you’re just so filled with adrenaline and focused on improving the car, but then you have time to realize that you’re actually driving a race car at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway,” he said. “It’s such a big place. It feels like it takes an hour to roll down pit road. I’m looking forward to the race so much.

“Just sitting here on pit road now, I feel very privileged to be able to say that I’ve driven here. I also feel very privileged to be here representing Belardi Auto Racing and Liberty Engineering and our other partners.

“I attended the 500 last year and I’ll be giving rides in a pace car next week, which is a good opportunity. The more laps you can get here the better. It’s just fantastic to be here in the month of May.”

Krohn passed his Firestone Indy Lights oval test at Chicagoland Speedway on Tuesday.

The Firestone Freedom 100 will be the series’ first oval-track race this season. Although Krohn is a rookie in the series, he has done extremely well in oval-track Star Mazda races. He won the first oval-track race he ever competed in, which was a Star Mazda race at the Milwaukee Mile.

Although oval tracks and their lack of run-offs frighten many road racers, Krohn likes them. “I think it suits my driving style,” he said. “Hopefully I’m crazy enough to utilize the car to its potential. It should be exciting!”

Krohn did some drafting on Friday, primarily with his teammate, Jorge Goncalvez, and Peter Dempsey.

The next activity on the schedule is an autograph session from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, May 25. There are two 45-minute practice sessions at 9 a.m. and 11:45 a.m. on Thursday, May 26 before time trials are held at 3 p.m. that day.

“I hope we can get the results to show for the raw speed we’ve had so far this year,” Krohn added. “If we could put it all together here at Indy it would be fantastic.”

Firestone Indy Lights is the official development series for the IZOD IndyCar Series, which consists of 17 races, including the Indianapolis 500. This year Krohn is a key player in the supporting act for the big show but his goal, of course, is to race in the Indy 500. There has only been one Norwegian driver in the 500 to date — Gil Andersen — who was in the first Indy 500 100 years ago. Andersen sat on the pole in 1912 and finished third in 1915 in his fifth of six appearances in the race.

“I’ve dreamed about being in the Indy 500 for years; that’s the big one,” Krohn said. “The Indy 500 is on TV in Norway, and everybody knows that it’s the biggest race in the world. In 2008 I got to see the place for the first time when I took the bus tour around the track. I got to see the 500 for the first time last year when I sat in the grandstands. Now I’m going to be racing there on Carb Day with over 100,000 spectators. It’s not the 500 yet, but it’s still going to be spectacular.”