The Gainsco Grand Prix of Miami was a challenging race, as nine cautions were called for a total of 40 laps in the two-and-three-quarter hour sprint race. Pit strategy and timing were a factor in the finale outcome, as the No. 01 Ganassi Lexus...
The Gainsco Grand Prix of Miami was a challenging race, as nine cautions were called for a total of 40 laps in the two-and-three-quarter hour sprint race. Pit strategy and timing were a factor in the finale outcome, as the No. 01 Ganassi Lexus Riley of Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas won the 99-lap race.The No. 76 Krohn Racing Pontiac Lola finished 11th in class (21st overall) with Nic Jonsson and Ricardo Zonta piloting. The No. 75 Krohn Racing Pontiac Lola Prototype of team owner/driver Tracy Krohn and co-driver Eric van de Poele finished 12th in class (22nd overall).
Radio communication problems in the No. 75 car just prior to the race start and being caught with bad timing on a caution caused them to lose a lap. Starting driver Jonsson had advanced the No. 76 entry as high as second place before turning it over to Zonta on Lap 63 in 5th position. Zonta left the pits with the fueling hose still attached and was assessed a 60-second penalty for doing so. Another stop-and-go penalty for passing under a caution and they quickly fell from 5th overall to 23rd overall.Although the final results from the debut of Krohn Racing's Proto-Auto Lolas does not show it, the cars performed well and the drivers were pleased with the overall progress this week.
Tracy W. Krohn, team owner/driver, No. 75 Krohn Racing Pontiac Lola: "Actually the car was okay. I was a little disappointed because we lost the radio before the race, so we had no communications. We got into a situation when I saw a car go off the track. I thought I was in underneath the yellow, before the yellow came out and they claimed I wasn't. I had to continue on through the pits and lost a lap there, which is very unfortunate because the car really was better than that. I had no radio so I waited it out and we didn't get in the pit in time. Unfortunately it was just communications error that occurred. The car was very good. The No. 76 car had some driver issues and communication issues and things but the cars are quite good. I was very pleased with the performance of the cars. They both finished and nothing came apart. Gearboxes were good. Motors were good. We seem to be a bit down on power, but other than that, I think the cars were very good."
Nic Jonsson, driver, No. 75 Krohn Racing Pontiac Lola: "We have been struggling all week with the set-up on the car. We really spent a lot of time trying to get the car right. We spent hours last night. I think Dave (Brown), Ricardo and I left the track at 10:00 p.m. last night. We came up with a plan and I think we had really improved the car for the race. David did an awesome job with the car this week as always. We had a podium today, I think. The car was not the pace of the 01 car, but I think we could have easily been second or third. The 23 car that finished second today we way outpaced them during the race. Unfortunately, we had a little mishap during a pit stop. We can't really do those things when you're trying to win the championship because on days like today -- when you don't have a car to win -- you need to score points to be in the championship. We really threw a podium away today. You have to get back home and look at the video and see where we messed up and have to improve that. Hopefully we can have a very good race in Mexico and come back and win down there."
Eric van de Poele, driver, No. 75 Krohn Racing Pontiac Lola: "My stint was pretty good. The car was very good. I couldn't do better than what I did today. We knew before the beginning of the race. We did the best we could. It was unfortunate we lost a lap in the beginning. If we had not done that, we could have had a very good result. We lost Tracy's radio just before the start and there was nothing we could do about it. The positive thing is that I know the car is very good. I know the potential of the car, so I'm happy about that."
Ricardo Zonta, driver, No. 76 Krohn Racing Pontiac Lola: "The car was very good. We had a car to finish on the podium. I'm really sorry about what happened in the pit stop. When I jumped in the car and put my belts on, I broke my radio cable. When I connected my belts, I broke my radio cable and I lost complete communication. Then when I saw the car going down I just started the car and it was still refueling. It was my mistake and I'm really sorry about it."
David Brown, Team Manager, Krohn Racing: "I'm very sorry that we didn't manage to capitalize on all the hard work we put into this weekend. We came here knowing it was always going to be a struggle to be competitive with a new car against proven opposition. We came here recognizing we had several hurdles to overcome with reliability of the car. The team worked incredibly hard to do so and succeeded in overcoming some of the greatest hurdles that a team will come cross in order to make the car reliable.
Having done that, the car also performed with quite a lot of work on the set-up and the specification of the car. I think it is true to say that we had one of the quickest cars in the race. There certainly weren't many cars quicker than us. Certainly the 01 was, but not many others.
It was going marvelous until we had out mishap in the race and from then on it all went spiraling out of control down. We've learned a great deal and probably more than w thought we would. We've also come away with knowledge which will make us more of a force in future races and a better team with a better car in future races than we had when we came here. From that point of view, we achieved a great deal. But we are disappointed to not have seen what we thought is the result we would have deserved."
Round Three of the Grand-Am Rolex Series will send the competitors south to Mexico City for the Mexico City 250 on April 19 at Autodromo Hermanos Rodrigues.