Birmingham: Krohn Racing preview

As spring flowers bloom in the South and the Masters Golf Tournament is played a few hours away, the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Racing teams travel to the scenic Barber Motorsports Park for the Porsche 250 in Birmingham, Alabama April 9-10, ...

As spring flowers bloom in the South and the Masters Golf Tournament is played a few hours away, the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Racing teams travel to the scenic Barber Motorsports Park for the Porsche 250 in Birmingham, Alabama April 9-10, 2010.

Krohn Racing, which is based in Braselton, Georgia, considers the 2.3-mile, 17-turn Barber Motorsports Park its Grand-Am home track, as it is merely two hours away and the team has competed testing at the circuit.

Owner/driver Tracy W. Krohn and Nic Jonsson will pilot the No. 75 Krohn Racing Ford Proto-Auto Lola in Round 3 of 12 seeking valuable points in the championship chase. After finishing fourth in the Rolex 24 At Daytona and 13th in the Miami Grand Prix, Krohn Racing currently sits in the Top 10, in the eighth position for team points.

The Krohn Racing team has had success at Barber in the past with a victory in 2006 with Colin Braun and Joerg Bergmeister. In 2007 the Krohn Racing team captured another podium as Colin Braun and Nic Jonsson stepped in the second position. In 2009 Ricardo Zonta set the fastest race lap and finished fifth overall with teammate Jonsson.

TRACY W. KROHN, Team Owner/Driver No. 75 Krohn Racing Ford Proto-Auto Lola:

The Barber race date has been moved to the springtime. After having had the Grand-Am race in the heat of the summer the past few years, how different will the weather make preparation and strategy for this year's race?

"I do not believe that the weather will have any effect on preparation of the car, but for the drivers it will mean less heat and hence less chance for error. The positive effect for the race is that under dry conditions we should have more grip and hence higher speeds. Also, with cooler temps expected than what we would have in July, I would expect to see fewer yellow flags and more racing. Expect to see new lap records and qualifying records."

The Barber race track is somewhat of a "home track" from Krohn Racing, being based just 2 hours away north of Atlanta. With the team having tested here a few times over the years and finished races well, would you say Krohn Racing has a "home track advantage"?

"I think we all know the track pretty well, so it does have the feel of being a home track, so I would say that does translate to an advantage. Of course we found out last year that certain other teams were using an illegal fueling advantage, so absent that, I think we have a reasonable opportunity for success. Nic Jonsson will be his usual stellar self, so the real push is to get me up to speed quickly. This will be the key to our success since this is not what I do for a living!!"

What do you see as the biggest challenges this weekend?

"Biggest challenges are getting me up to speed quickly and running quicker so that when I turn the car over to Nic, he will be on the lead lap with a chance to win! Also, it would be very interesting if it were to rain as we think the rain is a good thing for this car!!"

Krohn has been on the podium at Barber before...do you think you'll have the package to be a podium contender again this year?

"Nah! No way!! Just kidding! We approach every race with the idea and intent of being in a position to deliver. We felt we had a good shot at Daytona where we were running with the leaders until we were struck by a car that was over 30 laps down!! In spite of being in the garage for 15 laps undergoing repairs, we still finished 4th!! We missed the setup at Homestead, but we believe that we have learned something from that and I believe that the car will be better because of it! I firmly believe that will translate to a better car at Barber, a track that we know very well!"

NIC JONSSON, Driver, No. 75 Krohn Racing Ford Proto-Auto Lola:

The Barber race date has been moved to the springtime. After having had the Grand-Am race in the heat of the summer the past few years, how different will the weather make preparation and strategy for this year's race?

"We have had 80+ degree temperatures for the last week or so. I think from an ambient thing, it's not going to be a whole lot different, at least not inside the car. The track is not going to be warmed up as much obviously. The asphalt itself is going to be a little bit cooler than we're used to so that should make the tires last a little bit better than before. I think because there are so many tools to help the drivers stay comfortable these days with cooling suits, helmet blowers and stuff like that I don't think you're going to see a huge effect from that aspect of it."

The Barber race track is somewhat of a "home track" from Krohn Racing, being based just 2 hours away north of Atlanta. With the team having tested here a few times over the years and finished races well, would you say Krohn Racing has a "home track advantage"?

"I don't think we have any home track advantage. It's very difficult to get a rental day scheduled at the Barber track. We've done a few tire tests over the past couple of years before we got the Proto-Auto Lola car. So I don't see a home track advantage. The only advantage is it's not going to be long travel and the guys can sleep in their own beds for an extra night or so. Other than that, I think everybody is going to have the same opportunities with no advantages."

Krohn has been on the podium at Barber before...do you think you'll have the package to be a podium contender again this year?

"I can't really say at this point to be honest. It's a new tire again for 2010 that we've been running on now for two races. We are not sure if this 2010 Pirelli tire suits the Proto-Auto Lola as well as it does the Riley and Dallara. The Dallara has been very quick, very fast. We have just run at the superspeedways -- at Daytona and Homestead -- with it. But we haven't really been able to see any difference in the tire speed since last year. This is also going to be the first time we'll be running at a high downforce track and the Proto-Auto Lola has been a better contender at those kind of tracks, the really fast tracks. Hopefully, that trend will continue and the high downforce tracks will work for us. If that's the case, I think we should be able to have a very good run!

DAVID BROWN, Krohn Racing Team Manager and Engineer:

The Barber race date has been moved to the springtime. After having had the Grand-Am race in the heat of the summer the past few years, how different will the weather make preparation and strategy for this year's race?

"It will be a relief to be spared to savage summer heat and humidity, not only for the drivers and the car but for the crew too, for whom it is particularly grueling. The car in general will run cooler, in terms of engine cooling and also cockpit temperature, both of which we monitor and make adjustments to based on the conditions. We have several systems which aid the drivers in hot conditions, so while we appreciate the respite the time of year will give us we are prepared for high temperature running. Of course, it could rain too, just to make it more interesting......"

The Barber race track is somewhat of a "home track" from Krohn Racing, being based just 2 hours away north of Atlanta. With the team having tested here a few times over the years and finished races well, would you say Krohn Racing has a "home track advantage"?

"I think the performances we have shown over recent years have been more a reflection of our setup and car characteristics suiting the track rather any geographical advantage. We think we understand what is involved in making the race car quick here and we are really looking forward to being back on track after such a long lay-off. We also enjoy the presence of team family members at this race due to its proximity to the team members' homes."

What do you see as the biggest challenges this weekend?

"It's not easy to overtake here. There is often contact between the cars. We will need to employ cunningness and subtle race craft to realize the result. The track will change a little from the start of practice until the end of the race and there will be tire degradation because of the number and length of the corners, so we will have to be careful with our setup to match the conditions."

-source: kr

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Grand-Am
Teams Krohn Racing