Birmingham: Krohn Racing preview

Krohn Racing Preview for Grand-Am at Barber Motorsports Park The Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series' Round 10 will be held this weekend with the Porsche 250 presented by Bradley Arant at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama on July ...

Krohn Racing Preview for Grand-Am at Barber Motorsports Park

The Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series' Round 10 will be held this weekend with the Porsche 250 presented by Bradley Arant at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama on July 19-22.

The Krohn Racing team will be mixing it up a bit at Barber by swapping driver combinations. Team owner/driver Tracy Krohn will have Max Papis join him in the No. 76 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley. Colin Braun and Nic J0x00f6nsson will co-pilot the No. 75 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley. Both cars are seeking their first victory of the season.

Tracy W. Krohn, team owner/driver, No. 76 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley:

Why the line-up changes with the drivers this weekend?

"The gist of it is I'm making some strategic changes here because I think it's in the best interest of the team.

I hope that we can be more effective in taking points off the Lexus and assist Pontiac in achieving a championship win.

I think it's an interesting change to have Nic drive the 75 car. The team is trying very hard to get that car at the top of the podium. I've shared with Max before at Miller in Salt Lake City last season. We got along great. His driving style is actually closer to mine than Nic's; therefore I think the overall change may help both cars this weekend. I know that Max helped my driving last year and he also assisted me with some things and picked up a bit in the data to help me after the Laguna Seca race earlier this year. It helped me a good bit and now I'm having him drive with me for the remainder of the season. I wasn't terribly pleased with my own performance at Iowa. I need to continue to work on that. I need to get faster and that's what I intend to do. I expect my relationship with Nic J0x00f6nsson to continue, of course. We're just making this strategic change and hopefully we'll see both cars on the podium on Sunday."

How do you like the Barber circuit?

"I think it's a great track. I think it's a fun track. I've been very pleased to see the crowd attendance continue to grow each and every year. It's warm there but not unbearable. It's an excellent facility, very pretty, very good road course, and a fair track. I think it's a real test. There is not a lot of passing areas, so you have to be selective. It's an interesting ride. I think we'll fare well. I'm looking forward to a good race. I'd like to see us finish 1-2. We've won there before. I've even won there in GS with Nic. I expect a very good result at Barber. We've got to kick our game up a little bit to be where we want to be, so we are going to move forward and concentrate on the championship."

Max Papis, driver, No. 75 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley:

How do you like the Barber circuit?

"I'm very excited to be going back to the facility, not just because they have my first ever Formula One car, the Team Lotus car with my original seat still in it, in the Barber Museum, but because it's a great facility and really nice little track to race on. The fans are usually very knowledgeable. I don't know if this year they are going to have the go-kart race, but if they do, it's a lot of fun to watch!

Krohn Racing is former winner at Barber...what's it going to take to defend that victory this year at Barber?

"We've been testing at Barber and we developed a different concept on the set-up. We've been hitting new roads to find new solutions in the car. It's something we've been searching for since the beginning of the year. I hope that all the effort that I put in and that the team has done to come up with this new concept is going to work and hopefully is going to give us the first win."

Krohn Racing is changing it up a bit at Barber and you are going to have a new co-driver.

" Yes, it was a team decision to change drivers. Tracy wanted some help and am pleased to help him. I have already finished a few times on the podium this year and I'm looking forward to assisting Tracy with his first podium finish this year. I'm looking forward to seeing both cars on the podium this weekend at Barber."

Colin Braun, driver, No. 75 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley:

How do you like Barber circuit?

"I'm a huge fan of Barber. It's the track where the team won last year. Of course it's a place I really like because I got my first pole there as well. It's one of my favorite places we go. It's just a great place to race."

As the defending winner at Barber, what is it going to take to win this year?

"I think it's going to take a car that is very consistent. We've been having the DP (Daytona Prototype) only races, where we have long periods of green flag running, so I think it's going to take a car that is quick throughout the whole stint. I think we're going to have to qualify up front, run near the front and after the driver change pit stop we're going to have to be staying up near the front. I don't think you can get too far behind and catch up at Barber. I think it's a place where you have to be quick and just stay near the front."

Krohn Racing is changing it up for Barber and you're going to have a new co-driver for the weekend...how will that change your driving style, pit stops, and so forth?

"I'm not sure how it's going to change things up. I had no idea that we were changing the driving order until Tuesday night. I've enjoyed driving with Max and it will be interesting working with Nic. It's going to add a new element to things. We've had a lot of new things this year -- engines, new personnel and now new co-driver. It definitely keeps everybody on their toes."

Nic J0x00f6nsson, driver, No. 76 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley:

How do you like the Barber circuit?

"The Barber circuit is a little narrow. It was designed for motorcycles, not cars, but I think they did a pretty good job with the curbing so we can use the curbing coming off the corners. Actually I think it is a pretty good car track as well. I think it is one of the nicest tracks we to go to as far as surroundings. They have a fantastic park, trees, nice setting and a beautiful facility. It's a very good race. I also think it is one of the best-attended race we have as well because they have a very good crowd. That always makes it exciting to go there."

Krohn Racing is former winner at Barber...what's it going to take to defend that victory this year at Barber?

"I think it takes the same as always. You have to be smart, you have to obviously qualify decent, and stay clean for the first two-thirds of the race and basically go race the last 45 minutes. As long as you are in reach and you have the leaders in sight I think you have a very good opportunity because there are passing opportunities at Barber. So you have to be smart and stay out of trouble, take care of your tires, gearbox, and then start pushing when there is about 45 minutes left of the race.

Krohn Racing is mixing it up a bit and you have a new teammate for the weekend. How will that change your driving style, pit stops, etc.?

"I don't think there will be a big difference from driving style. Colin is a left foot braker, as am I. The biggest thing is to make me fit in the car without sacrifice anything from Colin's seating position. That will be a challenge we are going to work around the first couple of days of practice. He's skinnier and taller than me and I'm smaller and more muscular. I don't think there will be any problems as far as driving stuff goes. We like the same kind of car.

I think the decision made here is purely trying to mix it up a little bit. Obviously, Max, Colin and myself are all professional drivers and there's hardly any difference between us as far as that goes. The 75 car has had several podium finishes and has been running very strong. We haven't been able to win any races yet this year, so this is probably more of a mental game than anything else to get other teams to think about why we are doing this change. And we'll see if hopefully that will help us get a victory here.

I look at this as purely a team effort, not as the 75 car or the 76 car. We never really do. I'm still going to keep working with Tracy and trying to help out as much as I can. We all agreed that basically we'd make a change to try something different and see if we can get a victory for Krohn Racing this year. That is the goal."

Jeff Hazell, Krohn Racing Team Manager:

How do you like Barber and how confident are you going in to this race?

"Barber Park is an outstanding facility and all the teams love to race there. They have terrific promotion and are rewarded with many spectators. We tested there with good results. We've tried many combinations on the chassis and this weekend we're trying a different driver permutation. If we have an incident-free race, we're confident for a good result."

Will the driver swap be just for the Barber race?

"The intention is Nic will be driving the next remaining five races with Colin and Tracy and Nic will co-drive together again in 2008."

-credit: kr

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Max Papis , Colin Braun , Tracy Krohn
Teams Team Lotus , Krohn Racing