Anders has wins in Formula Ford, F2000, and Star Mazda, and is working on one for Indy Lights. He joined IndyCar Advocate for a round of Six Quick Questions to discuss Norwegian racing, his transition to Indy Lights, that Baltimore finish, and best and worst moments from this year.
What's the racing scene like in Norway versus the USA? "Norwegian race car driver" doesn't exactly return a lot of hits on Google!
AK: To tell you the truth, racing isn't really all that big in Norway. Rallying on the other hand, is huge. Luckily karting is quite big, so people can learn the ropes. If they want to make it somewhere in racing though, they will eventually have to go abroad. People normally just go to Europe, but the U.S. worked out great for me, so I'm trying to spread the word to new Norwegian hopefuls.
How has the transition this year been in moving from the Star Mazda Series to Firestone Indy Lights?
AK: The transition has gone quite well I will say. Obviously, we don't have too many results to back up my statement, but the speed has been there on several occasions to be right up there. The Star Mazda car and the Firestone Indy Lights car are two totally different beasts. With the Mazda being a relatively light, short wheelbase, narrow car with an open differential, the driving style is vastly different from the heavier, longer, more powerful FIL car. The championship structure is also a bit different, and as always when you move up the ladder, the demands on you as a driver get bigger. This counts both from a driving, commercial and team communication aspect.
Looking back on the Firestone Indy Lights this season, what have been your favorite and least favorite moments?
AK: My favorite moment of the year was when I was fighting for the lead with Josef Newgarden during the Firestone Freedom 100 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. We swapped the lead so many times in the opening part of the race. It was tough, clean racing, and it's always great when you're fighting with someone you know isn't gonna stick you in the wall.
My least favorite moment: After spinning out of the lead at IMS, Belardi Auto Racing and I made a bold call to come into the pits for new tires. We fell back to the end of the field, but we were so much quicker than anyone else on the track that we were easily chopping our way back up the field. With about 10 laps to go we were 5th and catching the leaders, when I was involved in an incident with my teammate Jorge Goncalvez and Bryan Clauson. I'm sure most people have seen the crash on YouTube so I wont elaborate on that, but needless to say, it was a tough break both mentally and financially.
I guess you could say that the Firestone Freedom captured the absolute highs and lows of racing, and I don't think I will ever forget any of the emotions I experienced while racing/crashing at the most sacred of all tracks in the world.
You were only a few laps away from your first Lights win in Baltimore. If it isn't too painful, what exactly happened?
AK: Here's another least favorite moment for ya (Laughing). We were enjoying such a strong race in the #9 Liberty Engineering/Belardi Auto Racing car. After all the stuff that's gone wrong this year, it looked like this would be our turning point. After reviewing data, it turns out I had already made the mistake before the race was ever restarted. I didn't keep enough heat in my front tires during the caution period, so when I hit the brakes into turn one the grip level was down and I also bottomed out. This was enough to force me off the track and that was it. It's one of those mistakes that is completely unacceptable. I feel terrible for my team, because after so many struggles we finally caught a break and then I threw it away. This is easily the biggest mistake I've made throughout my career, and it's one that will haunt me for quite some time.
What's one thing about you that most fans would never guess?
AK: Even though I am "The Viking" from Norway, I get cold when the temperature drops below 55. Living in the U.S. for some time now, it feels like my blood is getting thinner by the day! Also, I'll do the occasional Rap in Norwegian, but I only break that out during very special circumstances.
How are your plans shaping up for the rest of the year and 2012?
AK: My immediate plan is to give back to the team what I owe them: A win. For 2012 I would love to be back with Belardi Auto Racing so we can capitalize on the raw speed we've had this year.
Thanks so much for having me on IndyCarAdvocate!
|The Viking Himself.|
(Courtesy IndyCar Media)
Make sure to follow Anders on his website http://www.anderskrohn.com/, as well as on Twitter (@anderskrohn). Follow Belardi Auto Racing (on Twitter @belardiracing) or at http://www.belardiautoracing.com/.