Utah: Krohn Racing preview

The Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series season comes to a close this weekend at the 4.486-mile, 24-turn Miller Motorsports Park road course in Tooele, Utah. The Sunchaser 1000 race is a seven and one-half hour/1,000-kilometer combined Prototype and...

The Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series season comes to a close this weekend at the 4.486-mile, 24-turn Miller Motorsports Park road course in Tooele, Utah. The Sunchaser 1000 race is a seven and one-half hour/1,000-kilometer combined Prototype and GT race. The 2007 Grand-Am Driver and Team Championships will be crowned following this race in the highly contested sports car series. Last year Krohn Racing won the Driver's Championship with Jorg Bergmeister and finished second in the Prototype Team Championship.

Krohn Racing will see the return of 18-year-old hotshoe Colin Braun and teammate Nic Jonsson to the cockpit of the No. 75 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley, as they seek their first victory of the season. Team owner/driver Tracy W. Krohn and Max Papis will co-drive the No. 76 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley in search of additional points in Tracy's quest of the Jim Trueman Sportsman Award.

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

HOW DO YOU LIKE THE MILLER MOTORSPORTS PARK CIRCUIT?

"The Miller facility is exceptionally versatile, well laid out and not easy for a driver with so many turns per lap. Perhaps this year with grass and more landscaping, it might be easier to deal with the 24 turns every four miles."

What are your goals entering this 2007 season finale race?

"Max and I are going to drive this race without a third driver. We have a goal of finishing as high as possible, of course. The team has been pushing hard to help me secure the Jim Trueman Award for gentleman drivers."

Max Papis, driver, No. 76 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley:

What are your goals entering this 2007 season finale race?

"I really don't know what to expect. This is a long-distance race. Many things can happen. It would be really cool to finish the season with a podium finish for Tracy. The Trueman Award is going to be special for Tracy and we are going to go for it. I think we're pretty close on points and Tracy will need some good laps and the consistency to make the Trueman Award his award. The first goal of the day would be to see if we could get the 76 (car) a little bit further up than we had in the last couple of races. Maybe a podium is possible."

How do you like having the last race being an endurance race? Does that make it more difficult or more exciting -- especially when the championship comes down to the final race of the year?

"I think that it is great. It's great to see endurance racing. Grand-Am is all about endurance racing. We started with the Daytona 24 Hour and end up with Salt Lake City with seven hour something race. I think it is a perfect ending. The teamwork and driver work will be important and it is not just going to be a two-and-one-half hour sprint race that is going to decide the championship. There are going to be lots of different scenarios that need to be in place to be successful. I think it is a perfect thing to do -- to end with this race."

Nic Jonsson, driver, No. 75 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley:

You have your teammate Colin Braun back for Miller. Tell us your thoughts about that.

"Ricardo did a fantastic job at Sears Point. For not having ever been in one of these cars before, I think he did a superb job. But, of course, it's great to have Colin back. He knows these cars much better. We'll get more help with set-up and where these cars need to be with Colin. It's going to be fun to be back with Colin. We've known each other a long time and I always enjoy driving with Colin. I think it's also going to be a sweet and bitter day because we know it is going to be Colin's last race. It will be one of the last times I am ever going to get to drive with Colin. He's going to go on to bigger and better things in NASCAR. I wish him all the luck. I'm sure he's going to do real well there with his approach to racing and the way he is as a person and how talented he is as a driver. I'm really, really looking forward to the weekend. Hopefully we can pull a win out together for Krohn Racing before the season is over. It would be great -- both for Krohn Racing and great to win a race together with Colin."

What are your goals entering this 2007 season finale race?

"I don't think there can be anything else besides trying to win the race. We're obviously out of the championship hunt. For us -- (Krohn Racing engineer) Dave Brown, Colin and I -- the goal is to win the race. That's going to be the main focus. We have nothing to lose and nothing we have to be careful about so we have to put our heads down and try as hard as we can to pull off a win."

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

You had to sit out a race, are you glad to be back?

"I'm really excited to be back, obviously, after sitting out a race. It makes me want to go and drive that much more. Getting back in the Krohn Racing car is something I'm really looking forward to."

How do you like the Miller Motorsports Park circuit?

"For us for last year, we kind of struggled a little bit there at Miller last year. We've been doing quite a bit of work -- thinking and planning and trying to figure out how to get ourselves a really good car for this weekend. I think between my engineer, Dave, Nic and I, we have come up with a pretty good set-up to start out with, I think. I'm really looking forward to going back there and I hope we can do a great job for the Krohn Racing Pontiac guys."

What are your goals entering this 2007 season finale race?

"One of the goals is just to win the race. We are not in the championship battle from a driving standpoint or a team standpoint either. I'm looking to go out there and win the race. That would be great for all the Krohn Racing guys. We've all worked real hard to try to win a race this year. We've come close so many times, but it would be great for the crew guys, the engineer Dave, and for Nic. Everybody has put so much effort into it that it would be fantastic to win a race here. I think everybody deserves it."

Jeff Hazell, Team Manager Krohn Racing:

What are the team's goals for the season finale race?

"The team's goals are to win the race outright and secure the Jim Trueman Award for Tracy."

How do you like having the last race being a seven+ hour race? Does that make it more difficult or more exciting -- especially when the championship comes down to the final race of the year?

"The race is probably going to be six and a half hours. That's why we have two drivers per car. We are mindful that the track position of our cars may influence the outcome of the championship, but we will race without paying any attention to the consequences of other competitors, as we see no alternative of strategy."

What will the team be doing during the "off season"?

"We don't have an off season. We are already making preparations for the Daytona 24 Hour race. We have our 2007 Riley chassis for sale and are looking forward to testing our new Lolas as soon as possible in October."

The Krohn Racing team comes to the Utah finale, Round 14 of 14, in fourth place in the Rolex Series Prototype team points chase with the No. 75 entry and 12th place with the No. 76 entry following the penultimate race in Sonoma in late August. 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. Pontiac has already claimed the 2007 Manufacturer's title.

-credit: kr

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Max Papis , Colin Braun , Jörg Bergmeister , Nic Jonsson
Teams Krohn Racing