Krohn Racing Post-Race Report from Watkins Glen Krohn Racing got a fast start to the Sahlen's Six Hours of the Glen weekend at Watkins Glen International, but the fifth event of the 2009 Rolex Sports Car Series season didn't deliver the results...
Krohn Racing Post-Race Report from Watkins Glen
Krohn Racing got a fast start to the Sahlen's Six Hours of the Glen weekend at Watkins Glen International, but the fifth event of the 2009 Rolex Sports Car Series season didn't deliver the results the team was hoping for after contact from a competitor derailed a likely top-five outing.
The weekend opened with promise, as the Ford-powered No. 76 Krohn Racing Proto-Auto Lola was quick on the opening practice day for round five of the season, setting the second fastest time of the day. But as the conditions changed, the perfect set-up proved to be elusive as Ricardo Zonta qualified eighth for the endurance event.
The team continued to make adjustments, and the car reacted positively through the long-distance event as the team sought a second victory of the season. The constant improvement saw the No. 76 move up to the top three with Nic Jonsson behind the wheel. However, the chance for a strong result was set back significantly when contact from another car forced Zonta into the pits to replace the rear wing.
The race became even more challenging as a second pit stop was required to clear out the remains of a bird that had been lodged in the radiator, sending the machine down to tenth before Zonta recovered one position to take ninth at the checkered flag.
Nic Jonsson, driver, No. 76 Krohn Racing Ford Lola:
"We had a very good car at the beginning of the weekend but for some reason we got a little bit lost and struggled in the warm up this morning as well. But we kept changing the car during the race and it kept getting better. By my second stint things were going really well and I got up to third and then Ricardo got in and kept going. Unfortunately, he got together with the 22 car and that broke the wing. We had a decent car today, at least a top five car. But with the contact we weren't able to get that finish."
Ricardo Zonta, driver, No. 76 Krohn Racing Ford Lola:
Regarding being hit by another car during the car: "The guy was really slow, and when I went to overtake him, he just didn't look in the mirror and he came to the inside but I was already on the inside of the corner so I tried to back out but there was nothing I could really do and he just hit me. It was just worse and worse for us because it broke the rear wing. We had a tough weekend. We were very competitive on the first day, second overall and with a good balance on the car. Then, in Friday, the car was very different and we tried to change a lot of things for qualifying, but it was still very difficult to drive with a lot of oversteer in the corners. So for the warm-up, we tried something different but it was not good yet. So we changed everything for the race and it was a bit of a gamble and at the beginning I had a lot of push on the fast corners so the car was hard on the tires. But I think without the damage to the car, we had a car to fight for fourth or fifth but not much more than that."
David Brown, Team Manager/Engineer, Krohn Racing:
"It was a frustrating weekend that culminated in a frustrating race, really. I think we got to grips with the car after the warm up. The car was much improved in the race over practice and qualifying and our strategy was playing out perfectly well. We were on target to execute our strategy. We were in fifth at the time, which would have been a good position for that last stint but we were hit by the 22 car and it broke the rear wing. We could not continue like that, so we had to change it on the stop, and we lost two laps immediately, which put us completely out of contention. So we continued, but then we collected a seagull in the radiator intake! That blanked out the radiator and sent the temperatures through the roof.
"So we had to pit again to retrieve the remains of the seabird. It was a bit like that today, really. However, we are going to go to Mid-Ohio and have a good weekend and hopefully things like this will stop happening to us and we will have a good chance at a good result."
The next Grand-Am race, Round 6, will be the EMCO Gears Classic at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio on June 20, 2009.