Krohn Racing names 2008 drivers

Krohn Racing returns to the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series in 2008 for its third season as an independent race team of owner/driver Tracy W. Krohn. Ricardo Zonta and Eric van de Poele join Krohn Racing as 2008 Teammates to Tracy Krohn and Nic...

Krohn Racing returns to the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series in 2008 for its third season as an independent race team of owner/driver Tracy W. Krohn.

Ricardo Zonta and Eric van de Poele join Krohn Racing as 2008 Teammates to Tracy Krohn and Nic Jonsson

The driver line-up, beginning at the 46th Annual Rolex 24 At Daytona, will include Krohn paired with endurance sports car veteran Eric van de Poele in the No. 75 Pontiac-powered entry. The No. 76 car will pair team regular Nic Jonsson with former Formula One star Ricardo Zonta for the season.

Darren Turner and Oliver Gavin Join Krohn Racing for 2008 Rolex 24 At Daytona

English sports car ace Darren Turner will be added to the Krohn No. 76 entry with Jonsson and Zonta for the Rolex 24 effort in January. Fellow Brit Oliver Gavin will join Krohn and van de Poele in the No. 75 car for the twice-around-the-clock endurance classic.

TRACY W. KROHN, Krohn Racing Team Owner/ No. 75 Driver:

"We are very pleased with the driver line-up we've assembled for 2008. Ricardo and Eric will add greatly to the team for our season-long efforts. Their sports car racing and endurance experience will be an asset to this team. I am looking forward to working with Eric as a teammate and benefiting from his tremendous experience in sports car racing. We expect an exciting and good year ahead of us. Oliver is a great match for Eric and I for Daytona, not only because he's tall, but he has impressive endurance racing credentials. Darren was a pleasure to drive with at Petit Le Mans in the Ferrari and will fit in perfectly with the team for Daytona. The partnership of Krohn Racing and Lola Cars, through Proto-Auto, has produced an exciting new chassis, which we anticipate will commence its testing program in the next few days."

DAVID BROWN, Krohn Racing Team Manager and Engineer:

"I'm excited about the new driver line-up for 2008 and how well we think they fit into the team. Their already high level of accomplishment is going to be a great advantage to us. We think we have a strong driver line-up in 2008 and I am looking forward to working with them all.

"Apart from his obvious speed in the car, which he's shown over many years of Formula One, in sports cars and at Le Mans with Mercedes and all his previous history, Ricardo proves he's quick, calm, and a good teammate. He has a good relationship with his co-driver, Nic. They worked very well together right from the outset. His attitude and pace is a huge advantage to us.

"Eric has a great deal of experience and he will be a good partner to Tracy. Eric brings a level of maturity that will complement Tracy in the car. I think they will be a formidable pairing in the Championship, and together further advance the team's goals during the year."

ERIC VAN DE POELE, 2008 Krohn Racing No. 75 Driver:

"What I have learned and what is fantastic is many people in the Krohn team are really top in their department. First, I met Tracy in New Orleans a few years ago and knew Jeff Hazell from Group C in the 1990's and later through Wayne Taylor. I worked with Jeff Braun the first time I drove the Ferrari 333 SP in 1995. We not only won the race but we finished first and fourth and I drove both cars. It was fantastic! I have known Vincenzo (Dr. Vincenzo Tota) and respect his work. He has been so kind and helped me even though we were never on the same team. I also worked with Barbara (Burns) with the Risi Ferrari team in Grand-Am. I don't personally know David Brown, but I know his reputation and it is really an honor to work with him. So I have arrived with a team where I know many people and it's very helpful. It is really like a dream to get back in America with people who form the successful Krohn team. You can't believe how happy I am. I'm also looking forward to seeing the workshop, to see the team, the car. Also it's a new challenge with the new chassis. I'm looking forward to being part of the Krohn Lola cooperation and I am sure the team will be able to develop the car with the support of Proto-Auto."

RICARDO ZONTA, 2008 Krohn Racing No. 76 Driver:

"I am very happy to join the team. I know David (Brown) very well from Formula One, where we worked on the Jordan team together. "My goal this year is to win races and working with Nic and David, I'm sure that will be possible. The Grand-Am Series is very nicely organized and with experienced drivers racing."

NIC JONSSON, 2008 Krohn Racing No. 76 Driver:

"I was fortunate to drive with Ricardo at Sonoma this year and get to know him a little bit. First of all, he is a very nice, laid back guy. Coming from the high-profile racing he has done in Formula One for seven or eight years, he's tremendously comfortable to be around and a very normal guy. He fit right in with the team the first time he showed up at the race track. It was a very nice environment to have him around. His credentials on the race track speaks for itself. At this point of my career, to be partnered up with a guy like Ricardo is an enormous opportunity and privilege. I firmly believe that Ricardo and I should be in contention for winning races and hopefully, both the driver and team championship in 2008.

"Eric, I think, is a very good choice of a teammate/co-driver of Tracy. Obviously, they are the same height and Eric has tremendous experience as well, especially his extensive sports car history with a lot of big wins. I don't know him real well but we certainly know of each other because of racing together in the U.S. quite a while in Ferraris and other cars. He also brings, obviously, extensive experience, but also a laid-back and relaxed attitude. I think that is the way we are at Krohn Racing and he's going to fit right in. I think he'll be a fantastic partner to Tracy and help Tracy to become an even better race car driver than he's become so far."

DARREN TURNER, Krohn Racing No. 76 Driver for Rolex 24 At Daytona:

"I'm excited to be joining Krohn Racing for the Rolex 24. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know and working with Tracy and Nic at this year's Petit Le Mans; they made me feel welcome and part of the team from day one.

"As with all 24 hour races, the main aim will be to have a consistent and trouble-free race and push for a strong result. It will be my first time at Daytona, but the team has some experienced people within it and Tracy and Nic had a great run at the 24 Hours of Le Mans this year, so hopefully we can start 2008 off with a podium finish.

"I think the secret to success comes down to the complete package you have; car, drivers, conditions, teamwork, plus maybe a little bit of luck. I've been fortunate enough to work with some of the best people in the business and now have quite a bit of experience to draw on. In sports car racing, to be successful you have to know when to push and when to be patient, especially when it comes to dealing with slower traffic."

OLIVER GAVIN, Krohn Racing No. 75 Driver for Rolex 24 At Daytona:

"Daytona 24 Hours is one of the classic sports car racing events and to have an opportunity to drive with Krohn Racing is fantastic! I'm really looking forward to it. I'll be driving with Tracy and Eric van de Poele. It seems that the team has put together a 'tall' driver car and 'short' driver car. That's quite unusual and it's good for me because when I get in the car the seat should be set-up comfortably. I think the Krohn team is very strong. They have a very good engineering base, very good organizational skills and proven themselves over the past few years to be one of the best teams in the Grand-Am. I want to help them achieve their goal of winning the race -- whether that's our car or the other car. We're going to go there looking to get the best result possible and try to achieve as much as we can for Krohn and for Pontiac."

Eric van de Poele brings over twenty years of endurance sports car racing to the team, competing in more than 55 different racing cars on over 80 racing circuits worldwide. The Belgian is a three-time class winner at Le Mans, a two-time 12 Hours of Sebring winner, has claimed four 24 Hour victories at Spa and a victory in the inaugural Petit Le Mans. After a brief start in single-seaters (Formula 3) in 1983, van de Poele made the move to Touring cars in 1985, then Formula 3000 and even competed in Formula One for two seasons (1991-92), all while honing his endurance racing skills. He has competed in a major endurance sports car race for each of the past 14 consecutive years.

Brazilian Ricardo Zonta has over ten years experience in Formula One competition, having worked with such teams as McLaren, Honda, Jordan and Toyota. Krohn Racing's Engineer and new Team Manager David Brown knew Zonta from their days together at Jordan in 2001 and recommended him to fill-in for a suspended Colin Braun at the Sears Point race this past August. Zonta's ability to find speed quickly his first time ever in the Grand-Am Prototype and work smoothly with the team ensured him as a top pick for 2008. Like many race drivers, Ricardo got his start in go karting in his native Curitiba, Brazil for five years (from 1987-1992) before making the jump to the Formula Chevrolet Championship, then Formula 3, Formula 3000 and FIA GT before landing in F1. This past year Zonta added another dimension to his biography when he competed all season in the Brazil Nextel Stock Car Championship.

Darren Turner began his racing career in single-seaters in 1993, and served two years as McLaren's Grand Prix two-seater program driver. He was a test driver for several Formula One teams for nine years between 1997-2005, but mostly with McLaren. His sports car experience includes the DTM Series and FIA GT Championship. He is a class winner at Le Mans, Sebring and Petit Le Mans, with one victory in each of the past three years. Turner previously competed with Krohn and Jonsson at this year's Petit Le Mans in the Risi-Krohn Ferrari.

Oliver Gavin is a three-time consecutive GT1 class champion and has four 24 Hours of Le Mans, four Petit Le Mans and four 12 Hours of Sebring class victories, all with Corvette Racing. The British native got his started in go karts, moved into single seaters and quickly claimed the British National Formula First Championship with 11 wins in 12 races in 1991. He was also named "McLaren Autosport Young Driver of the Year". He moved up to British Formula 3000, where he won the championship in 1995, then the FIA International Formula 3000 and Touring cars. He was a Formula One test driver for Benetton F1 and Renault from 1997 to 2002. Sports car racing has dominated his driving since 2000 with Grand-Am, ALMS ACO-Le Mans and the FIA GT.

Nic Jonsson, a native of Sweden who now calls Georgia his home, first paired with Krohn in 2004. Nic was a Touring Car and F3 champion before going sports car racing in 2001. Tracy Krohn, who only began racing six years ago at age 48, got his start in the Panoz Racing series. Tracy and Nic drove to an impressive second-place finish in the GT2 class at the 2007 running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans driving the Risi-Krohn Ferrari 430 GT, along with third driver Colin Braun.

In 2007, Krohn Racing finished fourth and 12th with their two-car team in the Grand-Am Protoytpe Team Championship. Tracy Krohn was the winner of the prestigious "Jim Trueman Award" for Sportsman drivers. In 2006, Krohn Racing driver Jorg Bergmeister captured the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series Prototype Driver Championship. Krohn Racing was second in the Prototype Team Championship, a marked achievement for the new team.

The first race of the 2008 season will be the 46th Annual Rolex 24 At Daytona, scheduled for January 26-27, 2008 at Daytona International Speedway. Daytona Test Days run from January 3-5, 2008. For more information, please see www.grand-am.com or www.krohnracing.net.

-credit: kr

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Ricardo Zonta , Darren Turner , Wayne Taylor , Eric van de Poele , Colin Braun , Oliver Gavin , Jörg Bergmeister , David Brown , Tracy Krohn , Nic Jonsson
Teams Krohn Racing , Corvette Racing