Laguna Seca: Krohn Racing preview

Krohn Racing Seeks Another Win at Laguna Seca Grand-Am After finally getting a win under its belt at the Verizon Wireless 250 at New Jersey Motorsports Park on May 3rd, Krohn Racing is now ready to prove the team can do it again and in dry ...

Krohn Racing Seeks Another Win at Laguna Seca Grand-Am

After finally getting a win under its belt at the Verizon Wireless 250 at New Jersey Motorsports Park on May 3rd, Krohn Racing is now ready to prove the team can do it again and in dry conditions. The Verizon Festival of Speed at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, CA on May 15-17, 2009, Round 5 of 13 in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series, is the perfect place to do so.JJThe No. 76 Krohn Racing Ford Lola of Nic Jonsson and Ricardo Zonta collected the first victory with the new Proto-Auto Lola Ford in the rain at the New Jersey event. The last victory for the Krohn team was in 2006, although numerous podium finishes had been tallied since. Team owner/driver Tracy W. Krohn will be on-site this weekend to inspire his team to another victory.

QUOTES: TRACY W. KROHN, Team Owner/Driver Krohn Racing:

You're planning on coming to Laguna this weekend to watch as a team owner for the first time. How do you feel about that?

"It's always nice to be out at Laguna. It's such a beautiful part of the world. It seems like I never get to enjoy it as a tourist. That's the good part. The bad part is that I'm not going to be able to drive. So that's not a good feeling. I have mixed emotions about it."

You are just coming off the team's first victory since 2006 and first in the Proto-Auto Lola. Please share your thoughts on the satisfaction after that victory and looking forward for the rest of the year.

"I think there is more to it for the rest of the team. I've been anticipating a win for a long time. I think this is just the proof that we are capable of winning, albeit at a rainy, short track. So I'm interested to see how the car is going to perform for the rest of the year. I think we have some pretty good ideas. We'll just have to wait and see what happens."JJ

How difficult does the Grand-Am competition look this year?

"With every race you are seeing very competitive results from several different teams. We have not had anyone that has won two races so far this year. I think that's an indicator. Similarly, by the end of the year you're going to have a clear-cut victor. I don't think that it will necessarily be the team that has the most wins. It probably won't be."

Now that you have had that first win with the Proto-Auto Lola, does that add more or less pressure going into the Laguna Seca race?

"It definitely takes the pressure off. Once you get one of them under your belt, then you feel good and get a little confidence going into the next one. Now you feel like you ought to win all the time. I'm disappointed that I won't be driving but on the other hand, we have some very competent drivers and I'm looking forward to another win and tasting the spray of champagne with them."

NIC JONSSON, Driver, No. 76 Krohn Racing Ford Lola:

How do you like the challenge of the Laguna circuit?

"The Laguna circuit has always been a special place for me because it was the very first race track I saw in the United States. I came here in 1994 and drove an Indy Lights. It was the first time I ever tested or raced in the United States. That always brings back great memories. Laguna Seca is one of the more challenging tracks in this country because of the elevation changes, the low grip, and it's quite narrow compared to a lto fo other race tracks. It's a challenge but I really enjoy it. I think it's a driver's track and it is challenging form a set-up standpoint. I believe the Proto-Auto Lola and the Krohn engineering staff will get a very good set-up on the car."

You are just coming off your first DP win since 2005 and first for the team with the Proto-Auto Lola. Does that add on more pressure going into the Laguna Seca race?

"I don't really feel any pressure. We all know what we need to do. We have the same goals set for us every weekend and that, of course, is to go out and do as well as possible, with the ultimate goal to win. We do this for a living and we're hired to do a job. Our goal, like everybody else, is to win every weekend. I don't really feel more pressure. I almost feel less pressure because now we have that first win in the Proto-Auto Lola. Everyone has been talking about how long it's going to take before we can win a race; Are they ever going to win one; and this and that. I think we have proven that we can win. The car is reliable. If anything, the pressure is less. We just have to continue doing what we have been doing the last year and half and that is to keep our head straight and keep working hard. Hopefully some more wins will come along with that.We're very excited to get back in the groove again after our first win. The Krohn team is all excited to bring the Proto-Auto Lola back to Laguna Seca. We want to try to go get our first win in dry conditions."

How difficult is the Grand-Am competition this year?

"I think it's probably the toughest the competition has been since the inaugural year. So I think the competition is probably as strong as it can be and probably the toughest sports car competition in the world. If you go to other series, you have maybe four or five cars at the most that can win. Here you actually have 10-12 cars that can win every weekend. I think it's an extremely competitive. That's the way it should be because when you race against that kind of competition and succeed, you know you've done something good."

RICARDO ZONTA, Driver No. 76 Krohn Racing Ford Lola:

The Laguna Seca circuit is one of the few American tracks you had competed ion prior to coming to Grand-Am with the Krohn racing team. You were there in 1988 in the FIA GT Mercedes and also did a lap record in an F1 car in 2006. Tell us your thoughts about the famous Laguna circuit.

"I won the FIA GT championship there in 1998. It is one of the best American circuits in my opinion. It has up and down elevations changes and medium speed corners. I enjoy driving at Laguna Seca."

You are just coming off your first DP win and first for the team with the Proto-Auto Lola. Does that add on more pressure going into the Laguna Seca race?

"No, it does not add pressure. The win just renewed our motivation. But we want to win more races!"

How difficult is the Grand-Am competition this year?

"We had some problems at the first two races this year. This made it a lot more difficult to fight for the championship. But we have a very good car and that gives us more chances than last year because we have been able to develop it over time."

DAVID BROWN, Krohn Racing Team Manager and Engineer:

You are just coming off the first victory for the Krohn Racing team with the Proto-Auto Lola. Does that add on more pressure going into the Laguna Seca race?

"In fact it has just given the whole team a boost. We will go about our race business in the usual way. Our planning and preparation have been the same and we plan to execute the race weekend in the most efficient way possible -- as always."

Now that you have a victory with the Proto-Auto Lola do you plan to curtail your development on the car or does that continue?

"Development never stops. It takes on different guises in response to competitive factors but we continue to search for performance both in the car and in the team. If we stop developing we will fall behind. It is a constant battle."

How difficult is the Grand-Am competition this year?

"The competition is fierce and uncompromising. We recognize many good teams in the series, all of whom will take advantage of us if we do not respect their competitiveness by doing our best at all times and striving to improve in every area of our business. This is why we compete. Every race we stand before our peers and we are judged. It's the reason we do it."

In 2008, Jonsson and Zonta teamed to a record two podiums, six Top 5 and nine Top 10 finishes. Additionally, Zonta claimed one pole position and one fastest lap record.JJThe Verizon Festival of Speed at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca will be televised live on May 17 at 4:00 p.m. ET. For more information, please see www.grand-am.com and www.krohnracing.net.

-credit: kr

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Ricardo Zonta , Nic Jonsson
Teams Krohn Racing