Krohn Racing Friday Report - Rolex 24 At Daytona
The Krohn Racing team has progressed this week in their preparation for the grueling twice-around-the-clock Rolex 24 At Daytona classic race at the Daytona International Speedway. The kickoff to the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series, January 24-25, 2009, started activities on Thursday and finished pre-event practice and qualifying today.
The No. 76 Krohn Racing Ford Lola of qualifying driver Ricardo Zonta, Nic Jonsson and Darren Turner will start from the inside of the second row, in the third position for the 47th annual running of the historic Daytona event. Team owner/driver Tracy W. Krohn, who clocked his personal best Daytona time in Thursday's qualifying, will start from the 15th position of 49 cars.
TRACY W. KROHN, Team Owner/Starting Driver No. 75 Krohn Racing Ford Lola:
"Qualifying was a really good experience. The car was very solid. It felt comfortable. I didn't feel like I was pushing it really hard...very patient with it. The car does pretty much what you ask it to do. I think we have a very good race car for the 24 hours. I couldn't be more satisfied with the way the car is now and long term prospects for this chassis."
ERIC VAN DE POELE, Driver, No. 75 Krohn Racing Ford Lola:
"I think it is really the first time that I will do the Daytona 24 Hours with such good preparation. I mean, the car, the team, the car is perfect. We found the right set-up. Everything is ready on time, maybe even before. I'm really excited for this race. I think we have the best package I've ever had, so it's very exciting."
OLIVER GAVIN, Driver, No. 75 Krohn Racing Ford Lola: "I think so far that everything has gone very, very well. I'm happy with the car. The team seems to be extremely well prepared. It's the most prepared I think any team has ever been that I've driven for here. I'm really looking forward to the race tomorrow. Tracy did a great job in qualifying on Thursday. I think it's the fastest he's even been around here, so that's great. He's very happy with the car. Eric is as well. I think we've all had a good amount of time to get where we're at. We tested here a lot as well. That's a good bonus.
It's very encouraging that the other car (No. 76 Krohn Racing Ford Lola) is well up the grid, qualifying on the second row. They certainly have the speed and they really do stand a genuine chance to run up front. I think we've just got to be smart ad clever and stay out of trouble and we can be challenging right there at the end. A 24-hour race is always so super unpredictable. You think you've got everybody covered, you think you've got everything as buttoned down as possible, or as well covered as possible. And then something would just sneak up on you and kick you where it hurts. With that in mind, you've always got to be prepared. I've always got to be aware that there's going to be a crazy driver in a GT car that just won't see you, run across you, and put you in the wall or whatever. That's the reason why the preparation is so important. The team is ready for any eventuality."
NIC JONSSON, Driver, No. 76 Krohn Racing Ford Lola:
"I feel very good about the 47th running of the Rolex 24 Hour tomorrow. I think the guys have done a fantastic job. All the way through the winter they've been working towards one goal and that has been to have a very good race car for this event. I think, so far, we have achieved that. We have a good set-up on the car and everything seems to work nice. We have good pit stops, good driver changes. Still it's so much about luck. You have to be able to have clean races, clean, scheduled pit stops and just stay out there and turn laps and stay out of trouble, not get hit or hit anything and I think we'll be there at the end. If we can achieve that, we will be there at the end. We definitely have the speed to run with anybody out there, so I feel very good about tomorrow."
RICARDO ZONTA, Starting Driver No. 76 Krohn Racing Ford Lola:
"I am very happy. After the few problems we had Thursday morning (hit from behind by a GT car in the braking zone and pushed into the wall), I think I need to be very pleased with the team. They managed to get the car ready for qualifying and we had a very good car. I think we are a lot closer than last year. Given our qualifying time, we actually prepared the car for the race, not for qualifying. This lap time we worked for was for the race but I'm sure other teams worked for the qualifying time, so I'm very pleased and very happy with the position we are to start."
DARREN TURNER, Driver, No. 76 Krohn Racing Ford Lola:
"I think the preparation from Krohn Racing has been exceptional. We're in a really good position right now. The cars are running fast, are reliable and all three drivers are very happy with the current balance of the car and its drive-ability basically. I think we can go into tomorrow feeling quite confident that we have everything is in place to have a successful 24-hour race. Whether the lot will run into us will be another story. We just need to stay out of trouble and keep pounding around and putting in consistent, fast and safe laps. Hopefully that means we're there at the end of the race."