The Krohn Racing Team showed up at the Circuit of the Americas with a Daytona Prototype car that had been sitting untouched in the workshop for over a year and collected an impressive top six finish in the Grand-Am of the Americas race.
Team owner and qualifying driver Tracy W. Krohn started the No. 76 Krohn Racing DP from the twelfth position on the grid and drove it seventh position in the first 43 laps of the impressive 3.41-mile new Austin, Texas circuit. Teammate Nic Jönsson brought the venerable Daytona Prototype as high as fifth before eventually having to settle for a sixth-place finish in the two hour and forty-five minute, 71-lap race.
The first sports car race on the new Texas circuit did not disappoint the impressive crowd of racing fans as it offered an exciting race featuring five lead changes and two full course cautions, paired with plenty of contact between cars during close on-track battles.
TRACY W. KROHN, Krohn Racing Team Owner/Driver, No. 57 Krohn Racing Ferrari F458 GTE-Am:
“We actually had a really good finish here. Unless you’re first you always think you can do better but considering the amount of development, or lack thereof, we’ve had for the last two years on this car, I’m very pleased with the way the car performed. It took several laps for the tires to come in compared to the other cars, which put us at a disadvantage for us. Once we got up to speed, the car was pretty good.
I thought everybody raced really clean. I was impressed with the facility. I’ve got the say, since the last time we raced on a short road course with the GTs, the GTs are much better cars now, much faster, they brake better, they come off the corners much faster. Tracking them down isn’t a gimme anymore. You really have to drive to get ahead of them, particularly coming into the corners.
I was impressed with the level of driving I saw today. Everybody did a really good job. Nic did his usual stellar job. I was pleased with my own performance. I thought I did pretty well. The track is very physical. I’m glad we got the practice we did here and the practice we did at New Orleans before we came here. That certainly made things a lot better. At the end of the day, it was a good experience for us. Good that we got to come here before we attack it with the WEC in September. I’m very pleased with what we’ve done.”
NIC JONSSON, No. 57 Krohn Racing Ferrari F458 GTE-Am:
“First of all, when we first showed up here on Thursday we were three and a half or four second off the pace. We thought oh no! The guys did a great job. David (Brown) always comes up with a good set up for the races. Even for qualifying Tracy did a great job. It says a lot about the guys. The car had not been run for basically two years and was taken out of the showroom and prepared. We did a half day of testing and the car ran flawlessly, as solid as you want. The pace was not too bad. I was very surprised myself. Finishing in the Top 6 here in this field with a pro-am driver line-up, I think, is quite impressive. I’m very pleased with our result and very happy with the guys. We’ve had a little change in the personnel in the last few months. It was important for the guys to get to work together for a race and get to know each other. They did a really good job. We need to carry this momentum into the first race of the WEC season in April at Silverstone and come back here in September and kick ass. Thanks to Tracy and Krohn Racing to give us this opportunity to come and race at one of the nicest facilities in North America right now.”
DAVID BROWN, Krohn Racing Team Manager/Race Engineer:
“It was a quite exciting race. We haven’t been to a Rolex Sprint race since 2010. It was very exciting, a bit of contact, a lot of lead changes, plenty of action on the track, of which we were part, which was good. As far as our race was concerned, we are all quite pleased to be sixth. I thought if we would have been fifth, it would have been a quite an outstanding effort, but sixth is not shabby at all. The team did, as ever, an outstanding job preparing the car. We had no mechanical issues at all after putting it together after 13 months sitting in the corner of the workshop. Our renewed relationship with Roush-Yates Engines has worked out very well and we’re always pleased to work with them.
Both drivers did a very good job today. Tracy covered more than half the race in his couple of stints and was very close to the leading pace. The car, as it always has done, is very easy on its tires so we saw little tire degradation. At the end of Tracy’s stint he was within 1.8 seconds of the leading pace.
The strategy was relatively straightforward the way things fell out. We have all really enjoyed the experience. It’s good for us because the team has worked together and had a successful race meeting this year, which I think is a strong point. We’ve learned a great deal about the track. We are going to be a better team and better prepared and more competitive when we come here in September as a result.”
The next event for the Krohn Racing team will be the inaugural 2013World Endurance Championship (WEC) at the 6 Hours of Silverstone, UK on April 14.