Krohn Racing geared up for 6 Hours of Bahrain

Tracy W. Krohn, along with Swede Nic Jönsson and Italian Maurizio Mediani will pilot the No. 57 Krohn Racing Ferrari F458 GTE-Am through 16-turn the Bahrain International Circuit.

November 27, 2013….The 2013 FIA World Endurance Championship finale race will take place this week at the Bahrain International Circuit in the Sakhir, Bahrain for the 6 Hours of Bahrain race. Scheduled for Saturday, November 30 with a race start at 3:00 p.m. local time, the endurance race will run into the night hours at the beautiful Middle East circuit.

Krohn Racing owner/driver Tracy W. Krohn, along with Swede Nic Jönsson and Italian Maurizio Mediani will pilot the No. 57 Krohn Racing Ferrari F458 GTE-Am. The Bahrain WEC race is now in its second year so both Krohn and Jönsson are returning to the 16-turn, 5.451 km/3.387 mile circuit, and it will be Mediani’s first actual race there, having previously done laps on the circuit as a Ferrari school instructor.

Practice and qualifying will take place on Thursday and Friday, November 28-29 with qualifying on Friday afternoon. Numerous support races will the weekend schedule.

#57 Krohn Racing Ferrari F458 Italia: Tracy Krohn, Nic Jonsson, Maurizio Mediani
#57 Krohn Racing Ferrari F458 Italia: Tracy Krohn, Nic Jonsson, Maurizio Mediani

Photo by: Andy Chan

QUOTES:
TRACY W. KROHN, Krohn Racing Team Owner/Driver, No. 57 Krohn Racing Ferrari F458 GTE-Am:
The 6 Hours of Bahrain race is the only nighttime race, other than the 24 Hours of Le Mans, on the 2013 schedule. How do the evening temperatures help with racing in the hot desert?
“Last year when we started the race it was 105 F. at 4:00 PM. When we finished the race it was 99 F. Thus, not really much difference between the start and finish temperatures. This year should be much cooler. I just checked the temperature on the internet and it was about 70 degrees with about 56% humidity at about 4 AM, so it should be much better in the cockpit this year. Daytime temps are about 80 F so the weather conditions should be pretty good this year. Not much chance the race will be called due to rain.”

Last year the Krohn Racing Ferrari ran really strong at the Bahrain race but a quirky fueling rig problem dropped the team down three laps but you still came home with a third place finish. What’s the secret to speed at Bahrain?
“This is a distance race that is run in the desert, so we need to take that under consideration for our race setup. The good news is that our car was pretty good last year, so there is not much we shouldn’t know about the setup, but we have been fooled before.”

Bahrain was one of many a new circuits for you last year but this year you had no new circuits to learn. Is it pretty easy after you’ve driven a track one year to come back and re-learn it in a few laps?
“Clearly it is much easier to re-learn a track. It always helps to go out and walk or run the track before we are out on the track in the car! We will do the same thing at Bahrain this year. I always notice several things that I didn’t notice before and of course most of the tracks will have subtle little changes from year to year.”

The 6 Hours of Bahrain is the last race of the 2013 WEC season. Share your thoughts about the competition and racing in the WEC this year.
“This has been a tough year for Krohn Racing. We have had a lot of personnel change and are moving the team to Houston, so we have suffered somewhat from both of these things. Despite all of that, we feel like we have a good chance at winning in Bahrain and look forward to getting back out on the track. Last year there was a very nice party for the teams and we were treated to some of the local food and customs.”

NIC JONSSON, No. 57 Krohn Racing Ferrari 430 GTE-Am:
The 6 Hours of Bahrain race is the only nighttime race, other than the 24 Hours of Le Mans, on the 2013 schedule. Share what it is like racing at night in Bahrain.
“Racing at night in the dark always adds a little extra excitement, even though most tracks these days have very good and efficient light systems so the actual visibility is almost as good as in day light. The difference is the reflections you get from curbing and headlights from the other cars that may coming up on you from behind. It’s very difficult to judge the distance in our rear view mirrors and camera, so that makes it very important to keep an extra eye in the mirrors to make sure you always clear before turning in to a corner. Another element is the change of track temperature at night. This is something that’s normally much more obvious at night and has an effect on the balance of the car and how you get your tire pressures dialed in correctly.”

What do you like best about the Bahrain circuit and what is the most challenging?
“The Bahrain circuit is a fun and a great track with a world class facility surrounding it. As most tracks we go to on the WEC schedule, Bahrain has most of what a great track should have such long straights, hairpins, hard braking zones, elevation changes, fast sweeping and some very slow corners with change of directions. The most challenging may be the corners that have a change of direction going downhill leading up to a very hard braking zone still going downhill.”

The 6 Hours of Bahrain is the last race of the 2013 WEC season. Share your thoughts about the competition and racing in the WEC this year.
“The competition has for sure been the toughest it has ever been in the WEC this year in the GT-Am category. The WEC series and format is a great racing series to be involved with. They are a very professional and experienced staff who does a good job. Unfortunately we have not had the most luck and successful of a racing season, with lots of changes and challenges to overcome, but I think the Krohn team has done a great job as always and I can’t wait to have the 2014 season begin after the holidays.

MAURIZIO MEDIANI, No. 57 Krohn Racing Ferrari F458 GTE-Am:
Have you ever raced on the Bahrain circuit? If so, share your experience/s. If not, share with us how you are learning the new circuit.

“I never raced on the Bahrain circuit but I have been there with Ferrari school event last year. I drove around with some client and most of the time I was passenger with them. To drive around with GT2 car will be different. A big help for me is the opportunity to do a track walk. After that I’m always ready to drive.”

The 6 Hours of Bahrain race is the only nighttime race, other than the 24 Hours of Le Mans, on the 2013 schedule. How do the evening temperatures help with racing in the hot desert?
“For sure it helps, but I like warm temperature. I like summer. It’s always a pleasure for me to drive when is hot, and in the dark as well.”

The 6 Hours of Bahrain is the last race of the 2013 WEC season. Share your thoughts about the competition and racing in the WEC this year.
“WEC is the most important endurance championship. I’m very happy to be part of this drivers group and even happier to drive with Krohn Racing. I have to thank Tracy Krohn and Nic Jönsson for the opportunity to drive together. Anyway, the championship is not finished. We have one race left. I’ll never give up the idea to finish on the podium.”

RICK MAYER, Krohn Racing Race Engineer:
You are helping engineer the Ferrari 458 for Krohn Racing, with whom you’ve previously had a relationship. Talk about stepping into this role and engineering a car you with which you are very familiar.
“I’m happy to step in and engineer the last WEC race for Krohn Racing and Tracy. I’ve worked with Tracy and the other drivers before and we’ve had good success together. I’ve also worked with most of the team members so this should be easy to have a good ‘gel’ early. I’ve run this car in 2013 spec all year here in the States so I’m familiar with the particulars of the Ferrari GTLM 458 which will aid in getting a good race setup early for Bahrain.

Bahrain is in the heat of the Middle East. Even though the race will be run mostly in the night, how do you overcome the desert temperature’s effects on the car? On drivers?
“Bahrain is typically hot. The forecast is on the cool side so I don’t expect any issues with the heat. We have three capable drivers so we’ll just work out a rotation around the conditions. I’m more concerned about the one racing line and getting the sand off the tires when you have to go off line.”

What are the main challenges of a night race like this?
“A good portion of the race will be run at night. This would put it similar to Le Mans in that respect. The car has very good lighting and all the drivers have a lot of experience with night running. It adds a bit of complexity to the event but with all the drivers and the crew having ample night running time I don’t see this as an issue.”

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About this article
Series WEC
Teams Krohn Racing
Article type Preview
Tags ferrari f458, gte am, krohn racing, maurizio mediani, nic jonsson, tracy w krohn