The FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) 6 Hours of Shanghai race activities started today at the Shanghai Circuit with a full day of activities. Two practice sessions for a total of four hours gave the competitors a good amount of track time.
Krohn Racing drivers Nic Jönsson and Maurizio Mediani were elected the two qualifying drivers for the No. 57 Ferrari F458 GTE-Am entry. They qualified seventh in class with an average time of 2:07.584.
TRACY W. KROHN, Krohn Racing Team Owner/Driver, No. 57 Krohn Racing Ferrari F458 GTE-Am: “We started off the day reasonably well. The car was pretty good and then it started to disintegrate from there. We started to get a lot of rubber on the tires and couldn’t get it off. We did everything we could and it didn’t work.
We made a number of changes and were still chasing the car. I think we have a pretty good idea of what we need to do for the race. It’s frustrating though to work all day and think you find it and the end but you don’t have enough time to test it, but that’s how racing goes.
Shanghai is a really fun track to drive, very challenging, quick and technical. We’re pretty good in the hard braking zones. I’ve been relatively pleased with how well the car is performing but relatively displeased with the tire performance. We fought a few things today but are getting a handle on it. It’s all coming together. I feel like tomorrow morning it will be a different car.
We elected to put the two fastest drivers in the car for qualifying but it didn’t seem to make much difference in where we ended up on the line-up today and that was the point…to see what we could learn. We’re learning and still trying to figure out this car at this track with this set-up and these tires. I’m still pretty pleased with the day and the weather has actually been very nice. We’ll be ready for the race tomorrow."
NIC JONSSON, No. 57 Krohn Racing Ferrari F458 GTE-Am: “Practice today was a little up and down for us. We had some issues with some of the systems on the car. We’ve been working on that all day and haven’t seemed to be able to improve that at all for qualifying. We really struggled in qualifying and I’m not sure exactly why we were nearly a second and a half slower than we were in qualifying.
I think my fourth lap in this morning’s practice was a second and a half quicker than qualifying so we obviously have not improved the car. We have some work to do here tonight and tomorrow before the race starts. If we can get a good balance on the car, I think we can have a good chance to start to climb up through the field.”
MAURIZIO MEDIANI, No. 57 Krohn Racing Ferrari F458 GTE-Am: “Compared to past race weekends it was a long day with practice and qualifying in one day. We had a long practice and enough time to understand what we have to do in the car because we still have a problem to have a good set-up.
I thought after the second session we had a good car to maybe have a good pace for the race but the lap times during qualifying were not up to my expectation. We will now have a meeting to decide what we will have to do for tomorrow.
The race pace can be good. It doesn’t matter if we are one or two positions in the front or rear at the race start because it doesn’t make a big difference in an endurance race. My old friend said it is only 10 meters of difference in a race of six hours. That’s why I’m confident for tomorrow and I will push like hell to have a good result.”
MARK SCHOMANN, Krohn Racing Race Engineer: “We were really optimistic after the first practice session. Although we had a lot of tire pick-up, we were fourth quickest and thought that with improvements to the car we would move even further up. As we solved the pick-up problem, we actually went slower, which is confusing.
Right now we are sorting out why we didn’t go faster in qualifying and the game plan for tomorrow to try to make the car go faster, or if we are not going to be quick, how to preserve tire life and play the strategy game to stay out of the pits and have a good average speed. We are going to look through the data, talk to the drivers and analyze tires to see what is our best option for the race.”
The good news is we have the time to prepare before the race and overall it’s been a smooth weekend for the team. The events today will have us more prepared for tomorrow and I'm excited for a fantastic race.”