Ricardo Zonta and Nic Jonsson sloshed their way to victory Sunday on a gray, rainy afternoon at the New Jersey Motorsports Park, giving Krohn Racing its first Rolex Sports Car Series win since July 2006. With a wealth of wet weather driving ...
Ricardo Zonta and Nic Jonsson sloshed their way to victory Sunday on a gray, rainy afternoon at the New Jersey Motorsports Park, giving Krohn Racing its first Rolex Sports Car Series win since July 2006. With a wealth of wet weather driving experience gained from years of European racing, the Krohn tandem excelled in the treacherous conditions, which limited driver visibility to a few feet and necessitated a full-course caution during the race's second hour for standing water on the track. Jonsson kept the team's Ford Lola in contention early in the race while the Ganassi, Gainsco, and Penske teams faltered, and Zonta passed Max Angelelli with about 45 minutes remaining to secure the win.
"It was very difficult," said Zonta, referring to the conditions on the track. "When I jumped in the car it was very difficult to see and my radio wasn't working. We were last on the restart and I knew I had to overtake everybody because maybe nobody would stop anymore. So I tried to push very hard to catch Max."
The Krohn team's win was the first for the Lola Daytona Prototype chassis. "Last year was a development year (for the car)," explained Jonsson. "We still have some development to do. But we've done a lot of work on the car. The car is very good on certain tracks. But I think we're getting to where we need to be and we're starting to be competitive everywhere we go."
Angelelli came home second for SunTrust Racing, 44.752 seconds behind Zonta. "I'm very happy," said Angelelli. "It was a good result for the championship. But I had no chance to catch Zonta."
Timo Bernhard passed David Donohue with four minutes remaining to grab third place for Penske Racing. "It was a nice a fight, but it was very hard today because of the conditions," said Bernhard, who had spun off the track earlier in the race. "It was very hard to see. The visibility was very bad."
Donohue and teammate Darren Law ended up fourth, and the AIM Autosport Ford Riley shared by Burt Frisselle and Mark Wilkins rounded out the top-five. The Gainsco Pontiac Riley came home sixth despite losing a lap early in the race due a flat tire.
One week after being punted off the track by Donohue, Ganassi Racing finished five laps down to the winners in 21st. The team lost one lap while fixing a broken windshield wiper and several more due to off course excursions.
Porsches swept the podium in the GT class, with Dirk Werner and Leh Keen leading the way in a Farnbacher Loles entry. The Racer's Group Porsche driven by Spencer Pumpelly and Ted Ballou finished second, followed by Eric Lux and Bryan Sellers in another Farnbacher Loles car.
"That was really a great result," said Werner, whose team was the third different one to win the GT class this year. "Those were the conditions we needed. Everything just worked together. We had perfect timing."
The next Rolex Series race is Sunday, May 17 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.