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January 26, 2012 | By
Over the course of the Rolex 2 at Daytona, Firestone Indy Lights competitor, Anders Krohn, will be live blogging for IMS. He's co-driving with John Andretti and his son so it looks to be a succesful weekend for Anders. He'll give the fans some insight on what's going around the track as well as inside the cockpit. Enjoy!
Good morning people. I wish I could say that I just finished another successful stint, but that's not the case. Just before 3am this morning, we had an engine issue that forced us to retire from the race. It's frustrating to have something like that take us out when we were having such a good run, and especially since these Mazda powerplants are normally bulletproof. I did one stint after Taylor Hacquard had started the race, then another two and a half stints before handing the car to John Andretti. We were gaining spots overall and gained 5 spots overall my last couple of stints. Taylor, John and Jarett Andretti all did a great job to keep the car out of trouble, but with 11 hours down we encountered an issue that was beyond repair.
It's a shame to end the race that early, but let me tell you, it's been an adventure. I thought the place was pretty magical during the day, but it's during the night that it really comes to life. As you drive past the infield you can smell people barbecuing, fireworks are going off, and you just know that you're part of something huge. The crowds were quite astonishing, the biggest they've ever had for the Rolex 24 at Daytona in fact!
Even though we didn't finish, I'm so grateful to have been part of this adventure. I'd like to say thank you to Mazda USA, Yellow Dragon Motorsports, Window World and PM International Suppliers, all of which played an instrumental role in making this happen. I'd also like to thank John, Jarett and Taylor for doing a great job and for being great team mates. I hope this is just a taste of what's to come for me at Daytona, because I've definitely got unfinished business, and so does all the people on the team, at Mazda and our fantastic partners.
Finally I would like to thank Indianapolis Motor Speedway for giving me this fabulous opportunity to update their readers, YOU, on what a rookie in the Rolex 24 at Daytona goes through.
Thanks to everybody who followed and Tweeted (@AndersKrohn) at me during the night. I haven't been able to catch up with all of you yet, but will do my best to reply to everybody. You can follow the rest of my season on www.AndersKrohn.com as that unfolds.
Take care guys, hope you enjoyed the blogging!
POST FINAL PRACTICE
I don't think I've ever experienced such long days feeling so short in my whole life before! We started off with a 9am Practice session this morning, and here I am, 9pm and it's been non stop. Even though it rained in both sessions today, we got a good handle on the car and I feel a lot more confident heading into the race tomorrow.
We ended the day with driver change practice, and we got down to some pretty respectable times. I've only done one race before with a driver change, and that was in an F2000 car with my friend Chuck Lessick. So you could say this will be a fairly new thing to me! There are so many different elements to this than what I've experienced before, and I feel like I'm learning huge things every minute I'm at the track.
Heading out of the track on the Tram, I got to see the night life in the infield. There are so many people just having a good time with friends and family, so I can definitely recommend this event to anybody, regardless of age or gender.
The Yellow Dragon Motorsports crew has worked tirelessly for the past few weeks, and the culmination of that will start at 3.30pm tomorrow. If all goes according to plan, we'll celebrate a successful race exactly 24 hours later.
Today I'd also like to give a shout out to Mazda who won the Continental Tire Challenge race today in the ST category. It was a huge battle, and I'm glad it was a Zoom-Zoom car that came out on top.
I mentioned this yesterday, but I'll say it again: If you have anything you'd like answered about this race, my Mazda RX-8 race car, IndyCar or anything racing (or non racing for that matter) related, feel free to Tweet me @AndersKrohn and I'll answer to the best of my abilities!
Now it's time to rest up for the longest and most important race of my life. Good night people, I'll check in with you all tomorrow.
The first day of on track action was a hectic one! Unfortunately we didn't get too many laps in the #36 Yellow Dragon Motorsports Mazda RX-8, as we're still sorting out some small issues with the car. Since our deal for the race didn't come together until after the Roar Before the 24, we're having to play a bit of catch up with the other teams. With that said, the team has methodically worked through our list of things to do, and we're all hopeful that everything will be well come race time.
We qualified 50th overall, which on paper isn't very good at all. But my co-driver Taylor Hacquard only got a few laps of running, and did a great job considering the circumstances we had to work with.
This evening we had night practice, and I have to tell you that there's something magical about driving in the dark. The track lights makes everything very bright, but all the contrasts seem so stark in the dark, and boy was it a special feeling to do a couple of laps out there.
When you're in the car you really don't think about who you compete against, but it was actually today while eating lunch at Marion's that it struck me that I'm competing against some of the very best drivers from all across the world. People from IndyCar, Formula 1, NASCAR and International Sports Car series all gather for this event, and being part of this group of drivers makes everything very special.
My favorite moment of the day was when my Mom got to eat breakfast next to Patrick Dempsey. She was obviously star struck, but it was so nice to see somebody as famous as Patrick be completely laid back and act (no pun intended) like just any other driver in the paddock.
Even though it's been a tough going on the track so far, the overall experience has been great, and I'm confident that we'll come prepared for the race. Until then, I've gotta hit the sack!
More updates tomorrow!
If you have any questions about my Rolex 24 experience, feel free to Tweet me @AndersKrohn and I will try to answer to the best of my abilities.
Hello everybody! The 2012 racing season is upon us, and it's a big one coming up first. I am of course talking about the Rolex 24 at Daytona this weekend. So far, all of my racing experience has been Open-Wheel related, most of which has been on the Mazda Road to Indy Ladder. This will be a whole new experience for me, and I'm excited to keep you guys updated on what Daytona is like for a Sports Car rookie.
Yesterday was an amazing day at Daytona International Raceway. The thought of making my debut in one of the worlds biggest Endurance races seems quite unreal. The atmosphere surrounding the event is great, and today we'll be qualifying. Everything leading up to the event has been super busy, but everybody at Mazda, Yellow Dragon Motorsports and Grand Am have been super helpful in putting this whole deal together.
As a new driver, yesterday was all about gathering as much information as possible. We had a good team meeting with the YDM group, and I would also like to thank the SpeedSource camp for helping me out with a great deal. Then there's been the planning for Hospitality. I will have 30 guests coming this weekend, some of which will be coming all the way from Norway. The biggest group will be coming from PM International Suppliers, one of my partners who is based very close to Daytona. I'm excited to have so many people here, for what will be an absolute thriller. 45 GT cars and 15 DP cars, it should be busy enough out there!
It'll be a super busy weekend, but I look forward to keeping all the IMS fans posted on what's going on here in Florida!
More to come later today...
Follow me on twitter: @AndersKrohn