Watkins Glen II: Krohn Racing preview

Krohn Racing Looking to Defend Victory at Watkins Glen 200 GRAND-AM Race As the defending race winner, the Krohn Racing team comes to Watkins Glen International ready to defend their title in a fight to the finish for the Crown Royal 200 at...

Krohn Racing Looking to Defend Victory at Watkins Glen 200 GRAND-AM Race

As the defending race winner, the Krohn Racing team comes to Watkins Glen International ready to defend their title in a fight to the finish for the Crown Royal 200 at The Glen race, August 7. Team owner/driver Tracy W. Krohn and teammate Nic Jonsson are hungry for their first victory of 2010, in a season that has shown their competitive worthiness. Jonsson and 2009 teammate Ricardo Zonta won the race last year at the historic New York circuit.

The Krohn Racing team is also vying for its fourth Rolex Series victory at the 2.54-mile, 11-turn Watkins Glen road course. The event is the tenth stop of the 12-race 2010 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series season. Only the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve race in Montreal, Canada and the Miller Motorsports Park finale in Salt Lake City remain on the Rolex Series schedule.

TRACY W. KROHN, Team Owner/Driver No. 75 Krohn Racing Ford Lola:

You have said in the past that Krohn Racing has been very successful at the Watkins Glen circuit because you have been able to come to the track with a good set-up and ready for variable conditions. Do you expect that to play well for you again for the upcoming Watkins Glen 200 race? "Absolutely, we have generally been pretty good at nailing the setup for Watkins Glen. Nic and I both really enjoy driving at the Glen and the car just continues to improve."

Share with us the main differences in your driving style for the long course you run here in June and the short course you will run this weekend. "The long course has some harder braking zones at Turn 7 and 9 and the car just needs to be able to accommodate that extra element. The long course requires a bit more finesse, whereas the short course is a speed fest that is best fed with the right foot!!"

You have said in the past that you enjoy the crossover races where Grand-Am competes with NASCAR. What are some of the things you enjoy sharing with the NASCAR fans? "It's always fun to see all the NASCAR fans at the 'crossover' events for several reasons. They are always interested in getting to know the drivers and when they find out what kind of access there is in the Grand-Am paddock, they are always pleasantly surprised because we are not as sequestered. Also, they are always surprised to find out that we actually go faster than the stock cars and that we race in the rain as well, or race in the rain at night as the case may be!"

You and Nic have had some really good races recently but bad luck deterred you from a shot at the podium. How are you feeling coming into the Watkins Glen 200? "Simply put, we feel like we are 'due' and that we should bust out of the pack with a podium finish at any given race now. The team has worked very hard and the car is improving all the time and we all feel the burden of some of the bad luck we have been having!"

How difficult has the DP competition been this year in Grand-Am? "Clearly, the DP competition has been much tougher and it is obvious that the Ganassi team is just really tough to beat. We are all going to need to step up higher to beat those guys! Everyone has gotten better this year, but we still feel like we can win so that is what we strive for now!!"

NIC JONSSON, Driver, No. 75 Krohn Racing Ford Lola:

You and Tracy have had some really good races recently but bad luck deterred you from a shot at the podium. Your history at Watkins Glen has shown much success. How are you feeling coming into the Watkins Glen 200? "I think we should be in pretty good shape going into the Watkins Glen race. We've had a couple of really good runs here lately. At New Jersey specifically, we had a very solid run for a potential finish on the podium. Tracy did a solid job all weekend and was running really competitively, within a second and a half of the fast guys. I was very pleased personally with the car in race condition. We weren't the quickest car in practice or qualifying but the car stayed very consistent during the race and we didn't have the heat issues that other teams had and that played in our favor a little bit. We were definitely one of the quickest cars there and were running up front for quite awhile. Then, unfortunately, we had a contact with another car on the front left and shortly thereafter we had a problem with the front left suspension that we couldn't reasonably fix in time before the end of the race. To carry the momentum from our early run at New Jersey over to this weekend's race at Watkins Glen is a good goal for us. We should find good balance, aerodynamic and mechanical, on the car and if we can do that, we should have a good run. We're the defending champions and won at The Glen last year. We should have a good, fast car there. So we have very big hopes and are looking forward to going back."

Share with us the main differences in your driving style for the long course you run here in June and the short course you will run this coming week. "You have to take a little different approach here. First of all, it's a shorter race. It's a much shorter, much more intense race track. I guess this will be the highest average speed we will carry around on one single lap, along with probably Lime Rock. With the intensity of three straight aways, there's not much time to rest, especially with the GT cars on track at the same time. After the first five or six laps, you are going to constantly be passing cars and fighting for position in your class. So it's extremely intense with no chance to rest. You really have to stay on top of your game. It's basically a sprint race and you have to be very aggressive. You can't open any doors or dive inside of GT cars or you will lose momentum. You have to weave the traffic very well and potentially even slow up a little bit to get a good run. You have to just be very tactic in this race, I think, with the driving aspect, but also strategy-wise. It is going to play a big role in the success or not having success at this race."

How difficult has the DP competition been this year in Grand-Am? "The car count is down this year in both classes, the DP and GT, but the competition has definitely not gone down. Rather it's gone up compared to previous years. You still have all the quick cars that have been there before and added a couple of other competitive cars this year. We literally have ten cars that can win every race out there. That's both exciting and keeps you on your toes. You can't relax any session because you have to go out there and do your best and get as much out of the car as possible. Again, we have the only Proto-Auto car on the race track. For us we are the only sole ones running that car so we have to get the set up right on our own. You can't go down two or three garage and ask for some help or get some advice from Bill Riley, for example. That's not going to happen. For us it is an intense weekend. We have to stay on top of it and the Krohn engineers do a lot to get the car right. I have a lot of faith in them and the car they are preparing for us this weekend. It's going to be an exciting one and I can't wait to get there."

DAVID BROWN, Krohn Racing Team Manager and Engineer:

Krohn Racing has had some really good races recently but bad luck deterred the team from a shot at the podium. Your history at Watkins Glen has shown much success. How are you feeling coming into the Watkins Glen 200? "I think our car will work well here. We won the race last year and the car has progressed since then. The drivers are both more than familiar with the track and the car and we are all keen to put the car on the track in first practice, assess our 'out of the truck' performance and tune around that."

Share with us the main differences in car prep and set-up for the long course the teams run here in June and the short course everyone will run this coming week. "The short course race is on a faster layout than the 6-hour race. The track is an oval with a left hand corner in it. The short race is short! Only two hours, versus the six hours on the long course. It's a real sprint event, which affects the attitude to car setup and especially race strategy."

-source: krohn racing

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Series GRANDAM