Friday, September 14, 2012…..The Krohn Racing drivers have enjoyed their first few days at the Interlagos circuit in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Round Five of the 2012 FIA World Endurance Championship. All three Krohn drivers – Tracy W. Krohn, Nic Jönsson and Michele Rugolo – made their first ever laps of the 2.676-mile (4.309 km) circuit in the No. 57 Krohn Racing Ferrari F458.
Italian Michele Rugolo qualified the Ferrari today in the second qualifying spot on the grid in the GTE-Am class with a time of 1:35.401, which was only bested by Brazilian Enrique Bernoldi.
Team owner/driver Tracy W. Krohn is also competing in the Porsche GT3 Challenge Cup Brazil this weekend at the Interlagos circuit. A late arrangement was put together for Tracy to drive in the Porsche Challenge series in order to provide him with more track time to learn the difficult circuit. The extra seat time has been paying off in quicker lap times. Unfortunately, during Friday’s Porsche Challenge qualifying session, Tracy suffered a spin in Turn One which sent him into the wall. He was fine and the car is being repaired in time for Saturday morning’s race.
TRACY W. KROHN, Team Owner/Driver No. 57 Krohn Racing Ferrari F458 GTE-Am:
“I love Interlagos. It’s a great track. This is a very technical track so if you miss something just a little bit, you pay for it. Other than that it’s a wonderful track that offers everything a driver could want.”
“The first point we needed to do was to learn the track so we started off in the Ferrari 458 just learning how the track looks from being in the cockpit instead of the simulator or watching it on television. The car has progressively gotten better and we all have progressively gotten faster. It’s helped me a great deal to be in the Porsche Challenge. It gives me a few more laps on the track and a little bit better perspective that way. I think that overall this week has progressed extremely well. Michele just put the car second, P2, for the start of the race so we have continue to get better. We learned a little bit more about how the car reacts under different temperature conditions as well.”
Regarding the Porsche Challenge qualifying: “I spun coming into turn one. I was trying to go just a little bit deeper. The lap before I hit the brakes a little bit too early but as I hit the brakes, the car moved to the right. I thought I’d be okay but I ended up hitting the wall. So the car moved to the right after I hit the brakes I’m not quite sure why. We’re going to look at the data and find out. “
NIC JONSSON, Driver, No. 57 Krohn Racing Ferrari F458 GTE-Am:
“I think we are getting closer to a decent race set-up. I don’t think we have the car for the ultimate lap time though. Michele did a great job qualifying second place for tomorrow’s race. We are all here for the first time and are both trying to learn the track and get a decent set-up on the car. The car on the pole is Enrique Bernoldi, who has basically grown up here at this race track and drives the same car as we do, so it’s no surprise he’s a little bit quicker. We have a very strong driver line-up again between the three of us (Rugolo, Jönsson, Krohn), and very consistent. We also have great support in the Krohn Racing Team, who always do a good job prepping the car for us. I feel very confident going into tomorrow. I’m actually more confident than I have been the last few races. Sebring was the last race we were really quick in practice and qualifying. I think it’s the same thing here. I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t have a positive look on tomorrow’s race and go in there with a clear head and stay out of trouble. I think we should have a very good shot to gain some points in the championship and hopefully come home with the first win of 2012 tomorrow.”
MICHELE RUGOLO, Driver, No. 57 Krohn Racing Ferrari F458 GTE-Am:
“P2 is not bad for qualifying. We are in front of our competitors. We are a bit far from the leader but this is his home track so he knows it pretty well. I’m sure the gap between him and me is a driving gap because he knows the track much better and it can make a difference. We improved the car from the morning Practice 3 session. We still have some things we need to do. We know we chose the right direction. We have to do just little changes in the car and I think we can be competitive for the race.”
“Interlagos is a very nice track. I enjoy it. It’s very technical with elevation changes and many turns so it’s good to drive. You don’t understand from watching it on TV how much of an elevation change there is here. It’s very nice.”
DAVID BROWN, Team Manager/Race Engineer, Krohn Racing:
“We don’t like being second but we recognize that to a certain extent we’re still testing and we made a good step forward, we think, by running in qualifying with that set-up. Now we can make some relatively small changes and have a better race car. Obviously Bernoldi is 7/10th faster than us but in a six hour race they’ve got to maintain that pace with all three of their drivers over 40-odd laps every stint. There’s a lot to play for yet and that’s what we’re here for.”
The TV coverage for the 6 Hours of Sao Paulo will be streamed live on the FIA WEC official website, www.live.fiawec.com. This will be available to view around the world. The U.S. broadcast schedule for Speed TV has yet to be announced but they plan to do a 52-minute highlight package later in the season. To check a specific country television broadcast schedule, go to www.fiawec.com for TV distribution information.
Source: Krohn Racing