Krohn Racing persevered through many disappointments at the 90th anniversary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans race but in the end had to withdraw from competition at 1:00 a.m. early Sunday morning, June 23.
The Krohn Racing team had already suffered a big accident during Free Practice on Wednesday, June 19, in which the chassis was compromised beyond repair. Ferrari supplier Michelotto helped secure a replacement Ferrari of similar specifications, which the Krohn crew stripped down to the chassis and rebuilt up to ACO GTE-Am specs in order to have Le Mans rookie Maurizio Mediani completed his required night laps on Thursday.
Tracy W. Krohn, Krohn Racing Team Owner/Driver, No. 57 Krohn Racing Ferrari F458 GTE-Am: “Everything was going okay up until the last two or three laps. The tires were going away pretty quick and it was very slippery out there. I came around the second left hander, the Porsche Curves double apex, and turned in.
The back end got a little loose and I went off in the marbles and off in the grass. I thought I was going to be okay and out of my peripheral vision, saw another car coming. I felt I needed to hit the brakes, which turned the car and spun in into the wall on the other side. I thought if I’d kept going I might have hit someone else so I did whatever I could to stop.
It’s been a terrible two weeks for us, much of it self-induced. But you learn from your failures, get humbled by it and figure out how to make it better. The team did a fantastic job. I’m really proud of those guys. All of our guys worked really hard and I’m sure it was not the result they wanted or me.
There’s a fine young man out there, a brilliant driver, who lost his life today so I think we need to keep things in perspective. My heartfelt condolences and sympathies go out his family and friends. What an awful thing to happen. It makes everything else seem pretty trivial.”
Nic Jonsson, No. 57 Krohn Racing Ferrari 430 GTE-Am: “It’s been a tough week for the Krohn Racing team here at Le Mans. This year we obviously had a few issues throughout practice with having to change to a different car. The guys did a phenomenal job to put a car on the ground for us to go out and do warm up this morning to get a few laps.
Unfortunately, the weather played a huge factor in what happened for us today. It was really a black overall for motorsports with our friend, Allen Simonsen passing away in the accident today. It’s great to be at Le Mans but when something like this happens it’s all black. Our condolences go out to his family. He was a great guy. It’s really hard to lose a friend like that.
The Krohn Racing team had a rough day. Unfortunately Tracy had an incident on the track around midnight, just before I was scheduled to get back in the car. We felt we had too much damage on the car to bring it back. The rules say at Le Mans, which is a little different than anywhere else, if you can’t bring it back under its own power and or make repairs to the car by the driver you are basically stranded until the end of the race.
They won’t bring you back on the two truck. The only thing they will do is bring you out of the gravel trap if you get stuck, to basically get going again. It seems we had too much mechanical damage to get back to the pits so we had to call the race tonight. It was very unfortunate.
We’ll be back. We are not quitters by any means and expect to be back very strong with a new car in Sao Paulo in a couple of months. We’re looking forward to that. We send a huge thank you to everybody involved with Krohn Racing. All of the crew guys have been incredible and shown what they’re made of this weekend and I’m very proud to be a part of Krohn Racing.”
Maurizio Mediani, Driver, No. 57 Krohn Racing Ferrari F458 GTE-Am: “I think this is a very hard race to finish and our target was mainly to finish the race. Not only this week but the week before was a bit unlucky because we had to change the car. Our goal was not to be a top-running car but just to be ready to run for the race.
Regarding my stint during the race, I had a big problem with the brakes. The car was braking only in the back. That’s why Tracy spun a couple of times in his first stint before I drove. It was not possible to adjust the brake balance from inside the cockpit. I was trying to overcome this problem.
The team said to stay out, even with a slow lap time, just to keep the car on the circuit. After the first stint it was a bit better but not perfect. I was resting when Nic came and told me we were done. I’m sorry we did not finish the race.”
David Brown, Krohn Racing Team Manager/Race Engineer: “We retired the Ferrari after determining that it was too badly damaged to return to the pits. The Ferrari suffered an impact on the right side of the car in the Porsche Curves and it was unsafe to go back on track in order to bring it to the pits for proper repairs.”
The next event for the Krohn Racing team will be Round Four of the 2013World Endurance Championship (WEC) at the 6 Hours of Sao Paolo in Sao Paulo, Brazil on August 31-September 1, 2013.