Watkins Glen II: Krohn Racing preview

Krohn Racing Preview of the Crown Royal 200 at The Glen The Crown Royal 200 at The Glen race is the next Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series race, Round 9 of 12, and will be held at Watkins Glen International, Watkins Glen, New York this Friday ...

Krohn Racing Preview of the Crown Royal 200 at The Glen

The Crown Royal 200 at The Glen race is the next Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series race, Round 9 of 12, and will be held at Watkins Glen International, Watkins Glen, New York this Friday evening, August 7th.

The No. 76 Krohn Racing Ford Lola of Nic Jonsson and Ricardo Zonta will be the sole Krohn Racing entry for the shortest race of the season, 200-miles or 2-hours on the 2.45-mile, 11-turn road course. The duo previously won at the New Jersey Motorsports Park in May, collecting their first victory in the Proto-Auto Lola. Krohn Racing previously won at The Glen in 2006 with Jorg Bergmeister and Boris Said and in 2005 with team owner/driver Tracy W. Krohn and Nic Jonsson, both victories in the 6-Hour race.

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

Watkins Glen has been a good circuit for Krohn Racing. What are the things you personally like about The Glen?

"We run the track in two configurations. We run it in the long configuration, which has several more turns. And we run it in the NASCAR configuration, which is much faster and muc shorter. It's nice to go up there and run both of them. It's always a track that you have to drive very close margins because the walls are close. It doesn't lend itself to making too many mistakes. Of course no track does, but I think particularly at Watkins Glen and particularly when you're going up through the esses. You're a little bit on the edge and you have to drive it through there instead of just relying on downforce. You try to strip the downforce off and go as fast as you can so you really have to drive through there as opposed to just putting downforce on the car and not having to be concerned about it."

Do you prefer the long or short course?

"I'm not really sure. I think now that now that everybody has the same length of time on the fueling rigs it will be more interesting to find out."

This is another NASCAR/Grand-Am race week. How do you like those crossover event weekends?

"I like it as an owner. For one thing, there's a lot less expense involved. You're not there for several days. You're only there for a day and a half or two days. That, on the expense side of it, is good. There are a lot of people there. I think there is becoming a growing awareness of our series and being part of NASCAR. I see nothing but real positives in it."

How tough has the competition been this year?

"Tough! We've worked really hard at developing this car and trying to make it as good as we can. Again, I'm disappointed in competitors that have deliberately, in my opinion, bent the rules and knowingly. I feel like it's going to be more fun to compete now that everybody is going to be a little more equal."

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

This is a 200-mile or 2-hour race...the shortest of all the races of the season. Does that make it easier or more difficult to win?

"It depends on if you have a very good car and start out front, it's probably going to make it easier. I think it's going to make it even more of a sprint race and you can't really think anything about taking care of brakes, tires and stuff like that. You're probably going to have to go flat out from the very beginning. It's definitely a sprint race."

Do you prefer the long or short course?

"Personally, I really like the long course at Watkins Glen. I think that's one of the nicest layouts there is on a race track. You have everything -- elevation changes, hard braking zones, fast corners and slow corners. The short course is obviously much more about just pure speed. It's not so much technique. The short course is much more about trimming the car out than about top speed. So, from a driver perspective, it's fun to go fast, but I personally like if a little more technique is involved. I think we should have a good car there and I'm really looking forward to going back because I like the event and the environment of old tradition for motor racing and enthusiastic fans."

How tough has the competition been this year?

"The competition gets tougher and tougher every year in the Grand-Am Rolex Series. There are a lot of good drivers but the teams have really stepped up their program. They have really good engineering teams, top notch equipment and people are now realizing that you also have to do testing and keep tweaking the cars between races. Much development is going on within every team, so I think the competition is stiff and that's the way it should be."

Two years ago this race weekend your wife was home having your son, Max, while you were here racing in Grand-Am and NASCAR. How are you celebrating his birthday?

"We had a little party back home this past weekend. It was the first time I was home for his birth or birthday, so I was pleased to be around to celebrate with the family. We had a lot of friends over, race friends and neighbors, and both sets of his grandparents are here from Sweden."

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

This is a 200-mile/ 2-hour race, the shortest of the season. Is it easier or more difficult to win at a shorter sprint style race like this?

"I don't see much difference. It depends on strategy and the car's performance."

Do you prefer the short course or the long course at Watkins Glen and why?

"I prefer the short because we have to push on the limit the whole race. It makes it very exciting."

How difficult has the competition been this year in Grand-Am?

"The Grand-Am races have always been very exciting and the competition remains strong every year."

This is another NASCAR/Grand-Am race week. How do you like those crossover event weekends?

"It's good except that the problem is racing on Fridays there are not as many people that come out to watch the races."

DAVID BROWN, Krohn Racing Team Manager and Engineer:

This is a 200-mile or 2-hour race...the shortest of all the races of the season. Does that make it easier or more difficult to win?

"It means the race is less tolerant of any errors by the team or the drivers because you've got so little time relative to make up the deficit. It means you have to have a good car. Strategy is very crucial. We've got very narrow windows in which to make the right choices, again, all because of the shortness of the race. Otherwise, the pattern of the race will be similar. There will be some yellows and running into the dark at the end will make it a bit unusual for us. It's a good track. We like Watkins Glen short circuit. We've learned some things recently which are going to help us be more competitive and we want to get them on the road and see where it puts us."

How tough has the competition been this year?

"The competition is very close, which is very healthy of the Series and we think it's very good for us. It means that the performance of our car demonstrates our ability to produce a good car, run a good car and have it driven well by our drivers."

What's the strategy for the WGI 200 race? What kind of set-up changes must you make for the short course versus the long course?

"There is more of an emphasis on drag because the number of corners is fewer and you spend less proportion of the time on the lap in the corners than you do on the long circuit, otherwise it is pretty similar."

-credit: kr

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Series Grand-Am
Teams Krohn Racing