Indy Lights - Krohn Places 12th After Late-Race Crash
INDIANAPOLIS, May 27, 2011: Rookie Anders Krohn led his first laps in Firestone Indy Lights competition at an opportune time, as the Houston-based driver and his Belardi Auto Racing No. 9 showed their muscle during the series’ premier event, the Firestone Freedom 100, Friday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Krohn, a native of native of Stavanger, Norway, led laps five through 11 for a total of seven trips around the historic 2.5-mile oval in the 40-lap race, which was broadcast live on VERSUS and viewed in person by a crowd estimated at 100,000.
Although the other three leaders of the race all finished in the top four, unfortunately Krohn ended up 12th when he hit the outside wall in Turn 1 while battling for fifth place with just six laps to go in the race, which attracted rising stars from 12 different countries.
Krohn’s car, which is sponsored by Liberty Engineering, Logi Trans Offshore Express, Trallfa, PM International Suppliers, Allied Building Products, ZAT Graphics, Eagles Canyon Raceway, OMP and Bell Helmets, was done for the day and Krohn was treated and released from the infield care center with abrasions to both elbows.
Although their cars did not make contact, Krohn’s teammate, Jorge Goncalvez, also crashed while trying to slow down when Krohn’s car got out of shape on lap 34. Goncalvez’s car flipped and hit the inside wall and was badly damaged. Series officials said Goncalvez was alert after the accident and was transported to IU Health Methodist Hospital for evaluation.
Qualifications were rained out on Thursday. The grid was set by entrant points, so Krohn started eighth.
He passed Esteban Guerrieri and Mikael Grenier on the first lap to move into sixth place, although he dropped one spot on the next lap when Goncalvez got around him. Krohn got that spot back on the next circuit as well as another position, as he passed Peter Dempsey too to assume fifth place by the end of lap three.
“The Viking” was flying at that point. He passed Victor Garcia on lap four to move into fourth place. The next time he crossed the famous yard of bricks he was leading, as he neatly handled the eventual winner, Josef Newgarden; Stefan Wilson and Guerrieri all on the same lap.
Shortly thereafter the first full-course caution flew on lap eight after Victor Carbone crashed in Turn 2. While increasing his speed for the restart Krohn spun onto the grass between Turns 3 and 4 on lap 11 to extend that caution period for another lap and drop him to 17th place.
His car’s tires were flat-spotted in the spin, but the Belardi Auto Racing pit crew brought him in for fresh rubber under a full-course caution on lap 21 after Gustavo Yacaman, Juan Pablo Garcia and James Winslow crashed in Turn 2.
The fresh tires were all Krohn needed to resume his charge. He moved back into the top 10 on lap 26 under that same yellow due to attrition. He passed Rusty Mitchell for ninth place on the restart on lap 28. The race was immediately slowed again, however, as the third full-course caution waved on lap 29 when Duarte Ferreira and Brandon Wagner crashed in that troublesome Turn 2.
That moved Krohn into seventh place. There was an attempt at a restart on lap 32 but the field was not aligned correctly so the yellow continued to wave. Although the top two cars had a big gap on the third-place car the green waved again on lap 33. Krohn, Goncalvez and the polesitter, Bryan Clauson, were running three abreast when Krohn and Goncalvez crashed in Turn 1 on lap 34, and the teammates’ days were done. Clauson went on to finish fifth behind Newgarden, Guerrieri, Garcia and Stefan Wilson.
They can all get more oval-track experience at the next two races, which are coming up June 19 at the Milwaukee Mile and June 25 at Iowa Speedway. Krohn won his first oval-track race ever in Star Mazda competition at Milwaukee.
More information on Krohn can be found on his Web site at AndersKrohn.com.
Fans can also interact with Krohn via Facebook and Twitter.
Additional information can be found on the team’s Web site at BelardiAutoRacing.com. Live timing and scoring for all on-track sessions can be found on the series’ Web site at indycar.com/fil.
Krohn’s post-race quote follows:
“I’m OK. Both of my elbows are scraped up but I’m fine. I just hope my teammate, Jorge, is OK because he’s a great guy and he took a hard hit.
“The Belardi Auto Racing team had the Liberty Engineering car in fantastic shape. I feel I had the best car in the race. We could go low, high, or in the middle with no problem at all.
“I took the lead with no big effort. Then on that restart when I got on the gas the back end just turned around on me. I just made a mistake; I should have anticipated it better with the lower temperatures we had today.
“Anyway, I flat-spotted my tires with the spin. We were able to pit under caution for new tires and after that again we were easily the fastest car out there.
“The accident happened when I was trying to pass for fifth. The rear just snapped loose and I turned around and hit the outside wall between Turns 1 and 2. The throttle was sticking a little before that but the speed was there. Clearly we were the best mover through the field today.
“I have to thank Liberty Engineering, Logi Trans, our other supporters and everyone at Belardi Auto Racing for everything.
“I also want to thank the Holmatro Safety Team. They did an amazing job in coming to my car so quickly and getting me out of my car. Also, the IU Health Emergency Care Center team deserves a big thanks. This crash really does show how strong our Dallara race cars are, and I'm thankful that my OMP equipment and Bell helmet did an amazing job in keeping me safe inside the car.
“I’m in pain physically but even more emotionally because it would have been the easiest thing to at least be on the podium or potentially win this race. I think we’ve shown people our speed, so hopefully we can come back next year and dominate this race.”