On its first racing outing at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit, Krohn Racing drivers Tracy W. Krohn and Nic Jönsson are trying to make the most out of limited track time to learn the 7.004-kilometer historic circuit. Red flag stoppages in every practice session have not afforded drivers much on-track time.
Saturday’s 1000 Kilometers of Spa-Francorchamps race is the second stop on the 2011 Intercontinental Le Mans Cup Series. At the first event, the 12 Hours of Sebring, Krohn Racing was crowned the inaugural ILMC GTE-Am winner and is the current class point leader. Early this week five-time 24 Hour of Spa winner and former Krohn teammate, Eric van de Poele, showed the Krohn Racing drivers his secret ‘tips of the trade’.
TRACY W. KROHN, Krohn Racing Team Owner/Driver, No. 57 Krohn Racing Ferrari 430 GTE Am:
“This is the first time I’ve had some really clear laps so just getting the extra laps for me is very important. I’m getting a better line, looking at the data and going out and refining my line was quite important. Other than a couple of set-up items, I think the car is ready to roll.”
“My favorite part of the Spa track is the downhill part from Les Combes up to the last chicane before the front straightaway. It’s all downhill and very fast. Once you set the car in the right place, you’re just full throttle. There is a little bit of lift through the faster corners and it’s a little bit of brake and a little bit of lift to set the car as opposed to a lot of brake and a good lift. Now it just flows better. I’m learning the track. I only got about seven or eight laps total on this track before qualifying and I improved by three seconds from where I was yesterday.”
“What we have to do to be ready for the six hour is set the car up for the long race. The tires were actually pretty good with what we had with this combination. I’m not quite sure what the temperature is going to be tomorrow but we expect it to be a little bit warmer so we’ll take that into account. The idea is to make sure we finish. That’s number one. You have got to cross the finish line at the end. Number two is gaining more positions. I think this is the kind of track where some of that will come through attrition. Patience here is very important. It’s a very fast track and then there are some hard breaking zones. It flows quite nicely up until the very last chicane, where it is a little bit awkward. You don’t expect the track to be quite as slippery as it is. It feels like you ought to be able to power down a little bit quicker. You have to be very patient there. I spun there in qualifying one time and I thought ‘Okay, that’s not going to happen again.’ So now we figured out what the limit and will do something different. It was much better the last couple of laps.”
NIC JONSSON, No. 57 Krohn Racing Ferrari 430 GTE Am:
“I think it was definitely helpful to be able to come here on Monday and do a few laps with Eric (van de Poele) to get familiarized with the place again. Of course Tracy has not been here before so it was very important for him. Unfortunately we only get three one-hour sessions before qualifying and there were quite a few red flags. I believe Tracy only got eight laps yesterday. This morning I got about another six or seven laps.
There is a minimum driving time of 1 hour 15 minute and a maximum driving time three hours and 15 minutes. With just two drivers, that basically means each driver will drive approximately three hours each.”
My favorite part of the Spa track is the downhill part from Les Combes up to the last chicane.
DAVID BROWN, Krohn Racing Engineer and Team Manager:
“We knew before we arrived that because of the length of the lap and the shortness of the sessions, we would not get a lot of laps in. We actually got even fewer than we thought because of the red flags. However, by Tracy qualifying the car this afternoon, he’s given himself an opportunity to drive on a clear track and put into use all the lessons he’s learned by driving in the practice sessions earlier and the instruction he’s had on the video and the data in the transporter. He’s much faster now. It’s given the team a far greater advantage by him qualifying. We’ll be in the back of the grid, which is relatively unimportant in a six hour race, rather than attempting to qualify on pole with Nic. That extra experience is going to pay far greater dividends in the race. That’s what we are here to do. After lap one it is of no consequence whatsoever. We’re really looking forward to the race. We’re really enjoying ourselves here in Spa. It’s going to be a great race.”
The No. 57 Krohn Racing Ferrari 430 GTE-Am will start from the eighth position in the GTE-Am class with Tracy behind the wheel.
-source: krohn racing