Montreal: Krohn Racing preview

The Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series moves north of the border for Round 11 this week at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Canada on Friday, August 3rd. The Krohn Racing team will again field two cars -- the No. 76 Krohn Racing Pontiac...

The Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series moves north of the border for Round 11 this week at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Canada on Friday, August 3rd.

The Krohn Racing team will again field two cars -- the No. 76 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley of team owner/driver Tracy Krohn and 2004 Grand-Am Daytona Prototype champion Max Papis. The No. 75 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley will be shared by co-drivers Colin Braun and Nic Jonsson, all making their first race Grand-Am appearance at the 2.71-mile, 15-turn historic permanent road course on an island in the St. Lawrence River.

Tracy W. Krohn, team owner/driver, No. 76 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley:

It's a new circuit in Montreal and a quick 2-day event. Will that make it more difficult to learn the new circuit without much track time?

"I am really looking forward to it! The Canadians really enjoy motorsports and it is always a pleasure to race in Canada. I have a simulator so that should help just knowing the track a bit before we get out there for practice. Max Papis is very familiar with the track, so I will get the majority of the track time in the car and that will be a big help."

Both of your team engineers and team manager have experience at the Montreal track -- that should give the Krohn Racing team a little bit of an advantage over some other teams on set-up going in.

"This is a new track for the series, but not a new track for many of our team members. That will be extremely important and I believe even a bit of an advantage going in. We think we have a pretty good idea of setup and will carry that forward for the weekend."

How do you like sharing a race weekend with NASCAR?

"I think sharing with NASCAR is a great idea, particularly at a road course. This should be very fun for all of us!! I have a great deal of respect for all the NASCAR drivers. They all get a lot of seat time and it does not take them long to be pretty quick in the prototypes!!

Krohn Racing has a new driver pairing that seemed to work well at Barber...any thoughts for this weekend and going forward?

"Barber worked well for us in that both cars had good results. I got a lot of seat time, which is imperative to better performance in the future. I was quite pleased with my performance and very pleased with Max's performance as well. It helped to have a new set of eyes to see what I was doing with the car. Nic helped as well in reviewing the data, post race, and I expect really good results this weekend as well!"

Max Papis, driver, No. 75 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley:

Have you ever been to the Montreal circuit?

"I have visited Montreal several times, attending races when I was involved with Formula One. I raced there in 2003 in my last Champ Car race."

With the short amount of track time for Grand-Am drivers, but long amount of time for Busch drivers, what will be your strategy since you are also competing in the Busch race?

"Yes, I am also driving the No. 1 Chevrolet of Phoenix Racing, James Finch, usually driven by JJ Yehley, so I will get plenty of track time in that car. Our goal is going to be very clear. We are going to give as much seat time as possible to Tracy in order for us to maximize results. We proved by doing that at Barber it paid off very well because Tracy drove one of the best races so far this year. We're going to use the same strategy and have him run as much as he can. I'm going to be there to support him in his quest of winning the Truman Award. We increased Tracy's lead in the Truman Award last race by about 50 points or something. That's what we are all aiming at. It would be nice to bring the 76 car on the podium before the end of the season. I'm going to be working hard with the team to see if we can make that happen. It would be nice to give that satisfaction to the Pontiac family."

How do you like sharing a race weekend with the NASCAR Busch Series?

"I think this is going to be a great plus for both series. It's going to be the first race for NASCAR in Canada, so everyone is very excited about it. Montreal has one of the largest Italian populations in North America, so I'm expecting, as usual, a lot of support from my Italian community and racing community in general. I know it is going to be a great event and for me personally, I will be able to compete in two races in two days. For people like me who love my sport, that is what I am looking for. Last time I was in Montreal I was impressed how well organized and extremely well prepared the event was, so I'm going to expect even more for this upcoming week."

Colin Braun, driver, No. 75 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley:

How do you like learning a new circuit like Montreal?

"I'm really looking forward to the new track. Last year was really fun for me because all the tracks I went to were pretty much new and I like learning new racetracks. This year I have been to almost all the tracks so it will be really interesting and fun for me to learn a new race track again. I think the best part is David Brown, the engineer, has been to this track a ton before with Formula One cars, so he's got quite a good starting set-up which will certainly help out quite a bit."

You are not going to be getting a lot of track time, will that make it more difficult with a new track?

"I think it certainly will make it more difficult for everyone. But at the same time, that's what I enjoy about having to learn a new track in a short time. You don't get many laps and you have to figure it out pretty quick. I'm really excited about doing that. I know all the guys at Krohn Racing have been working extremely hard in the shop so I think we have a good chance there."

Krohn Racing had a new driver pairing that seemed to work well at Barber...any thoughts for this weekend and going forward?

"I think driving with Nic was a lot of fun at Barber. I think the new pairing might work out better for everyone. I'm obviously excited about going to Montreal and getting to drive with Nic again. I think we had a car that could have had a shot at beating the 99 car, if we would have had a little bit more fuel. I'm sure we'll do things a little bit differently when it comes to saving fuel and the strategy at Montreal. I'm sure we can give the 99 car a run for the money."

Nic Jonsson, driver, No. 76 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley:

Montreal will be a new circuit for you but you will be racing in both the Grand-Am and Busch races. Tell us about it.

"Yes, I'm always excited about new tracks I've never been to. I ran a lot both in Asia and in Europe and we were always running on new tracks and we ran a lot of street courses. I'm actually real excited about it. Of course, I'm going to have a lot of track time with running the Busch race as well. I think we have about nine hours of track time with the Busch car before the DP race actually. I think we're going to get enough track time to learn all the twists and turns of the circuit. In the Busch Series, I'm driving the No. 28 J. Robinson/Haas Racing car with Yellow Freight sponsorship. I've been doing tests for Hass C&C Racing for the last four or five years. I've never really had an opportunity to race before but now there is an opportunity and they asked me to do that. I'm very excited about that opportunity and trying to make the most out of that. NASCAR is what it is all about. It's the biggest sport in the country and it will be fun to go there and mix it up a little bit and see how it works out.

Both of your team engineers and team manager have experience at the Montreal track -- that should give the Krohn Racing team a little bit of an advantage over some other teams on set-up going in.

"Obviously both Jeff Hazell and David Brown have been there with Formula One before. I think that will play an important role in the whole Krohn Team results this weekend since they are both very knowledgeable about the track. The track is extremely hard on brakes. I think if we can make all efforts that can be taken to be able to prevent brake fade and lack of brakes. They also know the low grip surface at the track, and have put the set-up on the car with that in mind. Hopefully we'll be good out of the box and get a jump on the rest the first day and have enough that the other teams aren't going to be able to catch up with us. I believe there is just over two hours of Grand-Am practice. I think it makes it even more important to have that experience within the team that we have. I'm really excited about this because we have some advance knowledge already."

Krohn Racing had a new driver pairing that seemed to work well at Barber...any thoughts for this weekend and going forward?

"It worked very well in Barber. I think Colin and I work well together. I'm very excited to be able to drive with such a talented and young, skilled driver as Colin. He's obviously going on to bigger and better things as a driver. I think it is great to have the opportunity to drive with a young, enthusiastic, and very hungry guy because that also makes me very hungry and motivated as well to be as quick and sharp as he is. That said, I do believe that the motivation is there all the time and as soon as you put your helmet on, if you're not motivated with these things, you're not going to do well in a race car. That's one of the reasons I'm so excited about driving with Krohn Racing because we have such a great organization -- from engineers to crew guys to management to drivers. I think everybody is very inspired about the way the team is organized. There is never a lack of motivation. To drive with one of the most up and coming stars in the U.S. as Colin is, it's obviously a great thing for me and I'm really excited about it."

Jeff Hazell, Krohn Racing Team Manager:

You have obviously been to Montreal with Formula One, but it is a new track for Grand-Am. What do you think?

"I think that it is a great venue, although it is going to be challenging logistically with all the races participating. The opportunity to race within a major city is always exciting and the Montreal fans traditionally are keen and knowledgeable. The signature of the circuit is unusual but several key members of the team have raced there before and this might help us get on top of it early in the event. I believe Jeff Braun was there with the Formula Atlantics, David Brown was there with Formula One and I was there with Formula One and World Sports Car Championships.

Krohn Racing had a new driver pairing that seemed to work well at Barber...any thoughts for this weekend and going forward?

"Last race we were a fraction away from getting first and sixth, which would have been excellent finishing positions. We've just got to keep working a little harder to secure those places."

Any good Montreal stories you can share from your Formula One days?

"When I first went to Montreal it was for the original Formula One races. I think it was in September or October and we used to watch the icebergs float down the St. Lawrence on either side of the track. Looking at the weather forecast for this weekend I think it would be nice if one did turn up."

The Krohn Racing team continues in fourth place in the Rolex Series Prototype team points chase with the No. 75 entry and 11th place with the No. 76 entry after ten of 14 races. Braun has five podium finishes, Papis four and Jonsson one. Braun has also captured two pole positions. Krohn has one Top Five and four Top Ten finishes so far this year.

-credit: kr

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Max Papis , Colin Braun , Gilles Villeneuve , David Brown , Tracy Krohn , Nic Jonsson
Teams Krohn Racing , Phoenix Racing