Krohn Racing Announces Driver Line-up for 50th Anniversary Rolex 24 at Daytona
Krohn Racing returns to the Daytona International Speedway in January for the 50th Anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona, January 26-29, 2012, with many familiar faces behind the wheel of the No. 76 Krohn Racing Proto-Auto Lola.
Team owner/driver Tracy W. Krohn has entered the twice-around-the-clock endurance race with regular co-driver, Swede Nic Jönsson, Krohn Racing Daytona standout and former Formula One ace, Brazilian Ricardo Zonta, and American teenage racing sensation, NASCAR star and former Krohn Racing regular Colin Braun. The foursome previously all drove at the 2010 Rolex 24 with Krohn Racing to a fourth place finish, one of two (2008) since the team’s inception in 2006.
TRACY W. KROHN, Team Owner/Driver No. 76 Krohn Racing Ford Proto-Auto Lola: Krohn Racing is returning to the Rolex 24 for the seventh year with the same Krohn Racing team and the same drivers from years past (including same line-up as 2010) seeking that coveted 24 Hours of Daytona victory. How does that continuity help on the race track?
“It’s always important to have consistency and continuity. Having the same drivers who have worked together numerous times allows us to concentrate on other things than familiarizing a new driver into the fold. Having the same team members is really beneficial to success. Everyone knows their job and that of the others. Whether a racing team or a business, teamwork is a key to success.”
You have returning drivers of Ricardo Zonta (2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011) and Colin Braun (2006, 2007, and 2010) as co-drivers to you and Krohn Racing regular, Nic Jönsson. Please share how Krohn Racing is able to attract such a formidable driver line-up.
“Colin grew up with us in racing and is certainly a part of the Krohn Racing team. We’re happy to bring him back to his sports car racing roots. David Brown brought Ricardo to us and he immediately became part of the racing family. We all work together well and that’s certainly important in a 24 hour race.”
With your team’s high qualifications in endurance racing, can we expect to see you run two cars in the future?
“Running two cars would not be a difficult task for us. We have the infrastructure. It’s more a matter of budgets. With the right racing partner or group of drivers, it would be a very cost effective way for another racing entity to have an experienced and successful endurance racing operation run on their behalf. A two-car team is a way to get the most out of a racing program by leveraging engineering, car preparation, data and staff to procure the greatest opportunity for success in an efficient cost manner.”
NIC JONSSON, Driver, No. 76 Krohn Racing Ford Proto-Auto Lola: You have returning drivers of Ricardo Zonta (2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011) and Colin Braun (2006, 2007, and 2010) as co-drivers to you and Krohn Racing regular, Nic Jönsson. How do all of you work together as a driving team?
“It’s kind of funny. You have a Swede, a Brazilian, one older and very successful gentleman in Tracy and a younger upcoming, extremely quick kid – both Americans. I think the combination of the four is why we work so well. Ricardo and I have many years of international racing experience with a lot of different manufacturers. We were teammates in 2009 and won several races together. With that in mind, we have the speed and the similar feel and liking of the car and I think that has also played a part in the decision of the driver line-up when Tracy, Jeff and David decided the Rolex drivers. We all like the similar set-up and one of the keys is to have everybody pleased with and comfortable in the car, especially for such a long race. It’s more important to have continuity and consistency in the car than actual speed. You need to have speed in the car the last two hours but to get to that point, you need to have a car that’s easy to drive, stay out of trouble all night and during the day, and that’s important when choosing the driver line-up.”
Krohn Racing spent 2011 competing in the ILMC endurance series around the world. Has Krohn Racing become something of an endurance race specialist?
“I think Krohn Racing definitely has the experience and depth in the organization where we can run in any type of platform. Since we’ve been running the ILMC (WEC), as well as Sebring, Petit, Le Mans and Daytona 24 hours for many years now, I think we are very comfortable with endurance racing. The drivers know how to prepare and condition themselves. They know how to take care of themselves during a long race, along with the crew, who is also very experienced and know to pace themselves. They really do an incredible job in a 24-hour race. We have had extremely good pit stop and services through this entire year, as well as at the last six Daytona races. I feel very confident to put the Krohn team up against any team when it comes to endurance racing. Hopefully we can see the result of that at the end of January 2012!”
RICARDO ZONTA, Driver No. 76 Krohn Racing Ford Proto-Auto Lola: You are returning to drive with Krohn Racing for the Rolex 24, as you did in 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 and with the exact same driver line-up in 2010. Why do you keep going back to Krohn Racing?
“The Krohn Racing Team is like a family for me. It is more exciting to drive together with friends.”
The Krohn Racing driver line-up includes you, Tracy Krohn, Nic Jönsson and Colin Braun. How do all of you work together as an endurance driving team?
“The strategy makes a difference in an endurance race more than the drivers, I believe. David Brown’s race strategy can make a difference for us for the Rolex 24.”
COLIN BRAUN, Driver, No. 76 Krohn Racing Ford Proto-Auto Lola: You are returning to drive with Krohn Racing for the Rolex 24, as you did in 2006, 2007 and with the exact same driver line-up in 2010. Why do you keep going back to Krohn Racing?
“For me it’s one of the best teams I’ve driven for. They’re so professional. They do things the right way. It’s a great group of people, it’s a great group of drivers and it’s very comfortable for me to go and get right back in with the team. It’s really unique to have a team that has so many of the same core group of people – from mechanic to drivers to engineers to team managers from the time I first started with them in 2006 until now. That’s a really comfortable and easy decision to make because it’s a great group of friends I’m going to drive with. I’m really excited to be back with everybody for the Daytona race.”
The Krohn Racing driver line-up includes you, Tracy Krohn, Nic Jönsson and Ricardo Zonta. How do all of you work together as an endurance driving team?
“I think we all work together quite well. I’ve worked with Tracy and Nic for years and years. I got to work with Ricardo in 2010. I think we all understand each and we get along well off the race track and on the race track. I think we all have very similar driving techniques. I did a few tests the past couple of years when Tracy, Nic and Ricardo were busy. I jumped in the car and had very similar feelings to what they’d been working on the whole year. I think the four of us have really similar feel to what we want in a race car and what we feel in a race car. I think that works out really great for all of us.”
DAVID BROWN, Krohn Racing Team Manager and Engineer: You have your “dream team” from 2010 back for 2012 – with Tracy, Nic, Ricardo and Colin. Why does that driver combination work so well and how does Krohn Racing attract such high caliber drivers?
“There is no substitute for good drivers. All the drivers know each other now, there is a great atmosphere among them, a sense of camaraderie and they work well together. Continuity in this sort of competition is very valuable. We have a wide range of backgrounds – all focused on one thing for the Daytona race. It is important to have the best drivers. One mistake in the 24 hour race in traffic can completely change the shape of the race for the team. And these days, more than ever, with the race managed to put so many cars on the same lap in the last few hours, we need to be fast, we need drivers who will drive the car the limit of its performance potential.”
Krohn Racing is returning to the Rolex 24 for the seventh year with the same Krohn Racing team and the same drivers from years past seeking that coveted 24 Hours of Daytona victory. How does that continuity help on the race track?
“Continuity brings ease of communication and a relaxed, focused atmosphere in the team. We all know what we are here to achieve and we understand our part in the process. That familiarity is what enables people to be open and to communicate well, even under the most intense pressure.”
Krohn Racing is the only race team currently confirmed to compete in both the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2012. That is a very special designation. Please share your thoughts about that and what it takes to be successful in a 24-hour endurance race.
“They are two very different events but with many parallels. It’s still a battle with the other cars and against the elements and an exercise in both restraint and risk management. They combine the need for good design and thorough preparation with car and team management, efficient use of resource and the ‘unexpected’ thrown in to keep us on our toes. Although we are an organization small in number, we have a great depth of experience across the range of disciplines involved. There is the constant balance of technology and complexity against the benefits they bring. Although both races are part of Championships, they stand alone in their respective arenas as truly challenging events.”
The 2012 year will mark Krohn Racing’s seventh appearance as a team at the Rolex 24 At Daytona. Krohn and Jönsson have competed in all six previous events. Zonta will make his fifth appearance, competing each year since 2008. This year will be Braun’s fourth appearance with the Krohn team (2006, 2007, and 2010). All four Krohn Racing drivers have been on the podium at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but have yet to take that step at the Rolex 24 At Daytona.
The 50th Annual Rolex 24 At Daytona at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida will be January 29-30, with Daytona Test Days scheduled for January 6-8, 2012.