Rebounding Krohn Racing team sets sights on podium at Sao Paulo

Krohn Racing takes on the 6 Hours of Sao Paulo at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace ( Interlagos Circuit)

The FIA World Endurance Championship teams have had a hiatus from racing for two months, since the June 22-23 running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. They finally return to racing on August 31-September 1 for the 6 Hours of Sao Paulo at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace, formerly known as the Interlagos Circuit, in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

#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: Lucien Harmegnies

Following the challenging Le Mans race, the Krohn Racing Team spent time rebuilding the car and testing at Vallelunga Circuit in Italy. They completed a shakedown and suitable testing program with the rebuilt Ferrari F458.

Team owner/driver Tracy W. Krohn will be back in the No. 57 Ferrari F458 with co-driver Nic Jönsson, of Sweden, and Maurizio Mediani, of Italy. Krohn and Jönsson have previously been on the Sao Paulo circuit but only for testing for the 6 Hours of Sao Paulo race last year. Third driver Michele Rugolo qualified the car second in the GTE-Am class in 2012 but suffered a first-lap accident which forced a retirement by the popular green-and-blue liveried Krohn Team.

TRACY W. KROHN, Krohn Racing Team Owner/Driver, No. 57 Krohn Racing Ferrari F458 GTE-Am:

Krohn Racing has recently purchased a new Ferrari F458 since the accident in Le Mans and done some testing. Please share about the status of the new car and how the testing in Italy went.

“We did buy a new chassis, but were able to salvage some parts. We were able to do some testing at Vallelunga and we left feeling as though we had improved the car, but you do not really know until you go racing. One of the problems we had at Le Mans was with the braking on the ‘rented chassis’. It was extremely difficult to set the bias and trust that it would be the same for the next corner. I believe we have reliable braking now and that will make a huge difference.”

Last year at Sao Paulo, the Krohn Team was pretty comfortable and confident before the race but a first lap accident put you out of the race. How do you feel going in to this year’s race?

“We knew we had a good car last year and we were massively disappointed by the first lap wreck. Right now, it is difficult to know what we will have this year for the race, but we are certainly mindful of being able to finish the race.”

Interlagos is one of the older WEC tracks. What are some of the characteristics you enjoy about the circuit?

“Interlagos is a real ballsy kind of roller coaster ride, but I think it is a very fair track in the sense that there are places you can take big risk and get around someone, or you can be patient and still finish well. It will take both mindsets to win at Interlagos.”

Krohn Racing has had some bad luck and poor finishes in the first half of the season. How does the Team plan to come back to be in the GTE-Am championship points hunt?

“The team has to really pull together and eliminate mistakes and go for wins. This is a really tough series with excellent drivers and being patient and aggressive will determine how we end up assuming minimal mechanical difficulty.”

All the WEC drivers have a heavy schedule ahead with five races in three months on three continents. The Krohn Racing Team is well traveled and versatile, as are you and your co-drivers. How does this help with a rather strenuous schedule ahead?

“We have done this before as many of our competitors have. I travel a lot even when I am not doing anything with the team, so the real key for travel is maintaining an eating/ sleeping ritual that makes sense so that we can adjust for the jet lag as soon as possible.”

NIC JONSSON, No. 57 Krohn Racing Ferrari 430 GTE-Am:

Last year at Sao Paulo, the Krohn Team was pretty comfortable and confident before the race but a first lap accident put you out of the race. How do you feel going in to this year’s race?

“We had a very good and well balanced car last year and I believe the car is going to be good and fast this year again and give us the opportunity to compete for the victory!”

Interlagos is one of the older WEC tracks. What are some of the characteristics you enjoy about the circuit?

“Interlagos has a lot of history and the reason is because there have been many very close and fantastic races there over the years, thanks to the challenging lay out of the track. The track has some real steep elevation changes that unload the car while turning and make it very challenging to keep the car in balance. It also offers several great passing zones after high speed straights. The track really has everything that a world class track should have.”

Krohn Racing has had some bad luck and poor finishes in the first half of the season. How does the Team plan to come back to be in the GTE-Am championship points hunt?

“With a very tough start to the season we have fallen behind in the points but the Krohn Racing Team has a great attitude and has kept working hard to make sure we turn that luck around. We are not doing anything different; just keep doing the same thing we have done for years are going to take us back in the hunt!”

All the WEC drivers have a heavy schedule ahead with five races in three months on three continents. The Krohn Racing Team is well traveled and versatile, as are you and your co-drivers. How does this help with a rather strenuous schedule ahead?

“The travel schedule is hard on everybody, but the most important thing is to make sure you get plenty of sleep and eat and drink healthy. Most guys in the WEC series are very seasoned and used to travel so I think it's more about how everyone conditions and prepares themselves rather than the travel that's going to make the difference!!”

MAURIZIO MEDIANI, No. 57 Krohn Racing Ferrari F458 GTE-Am:

You recently participated in some testing for Krohn Racing so please share a little about it.

“I did a shakedown of a new chassis with Tracy at Vallelunga, in Italy near Rome. I think we had a good team work and we found a good set up, constant and fast, even with used tires.”

Krohn Racing has had some bad luck and poor finishes in the first half of the season. How does the Team plan to come back to be in the GTE-Am championship points hunt?

“We have to work without any mistakes because all of us wanted better position in the championship. I believe in the fact that the new car with new set up will help our job.”

Tell us about your experiences driving at Sao Paulo and what you think of the circuit.

“In the past I was in SaoPaulo one time. I did a race in the Brazilian championship with a local team name Promtec, with a Ferrari 360GT. Interlagos circuit means that we are between two lakes, and this makes the weather very changeable. We can easily have conditions like Silverstone.

All the WEC drivers have a heavy schedule ahead with five races in three months on three continents. The Krohn Racing Team is well traveled and versatile, as are you and your co-drivers. How does this help with a rather strenuous schedule ahead?

“The best possibility is to have a flight in business class, then a lot of melatonin...to sleep. This time I think it will be a harder life more for our competitors, the European team. They have to send the material and cars in the containers too. They will have no trucks and no hospitality. Then there is the race in Texas. We will feel at home and maybe we will have our fantastic green truck!!”

You stay very busy racing in other series. Is it difficult to switch from one Series to another on a given race weekend?

“I'm driving in different series and different cars: GT2, GT3 and LMP2. It is no problem for me to change a car, as all of this is a good training. The only problem is to organize the travel, flights, rental cars, etc. It's a kind of second job.”

DAVID BROWN, Krohn Racing Team Manager/Race Engineer:

Krohn Racing has had some bad luck and poor finishes in the first half of the season. How does the Team plan to come back to be in the GTE-Am championship points hunt?

“We had a good test at Vallelunga where we shook down and ran through a test program with our post-Le Mans rebuilt car. It was good to have the opportunity to test chassis components and setup. At race meetings we do not get any testing done. We found some interesting things which will translate into a better car at Brazil and beyond.”

Last year’s race at Interlagos was a heartbreaker for Krohn Racing when starting driver Michele Rugolo was left with no place to go following a spin by two cars in front of him on the first lap and the car was too damaged to race. How does the team overcome that or the heartbreak of the accident at Le Mans to persevere and come back for a positive result this weekend?

“We all recognize that things go wrong, undeserved or otherwise, and we get up and fight anew. The team is all dedicated to being as successful as possible and we are going to win races this year.”

All the WEC teams have a heavy schedule ahead with five races in three months on three continents. As both Team Manager and Race Engineer, how difficult is it to prepare the car and juggle all the team movement needs and logistics with a busy racing schedule like that?

“We have a strong team and we have lots of experience. The team mentality is that of achieving, no matter what we have to contend with. Because of our location we are already familiar with freighting our car and equipment around the world. Much of the car preparation took place after Le Mans, when we had to rebuild the entire car. We have a planned replacement schedule for key components and we will be constantly reassessing our situation in the search for increased efficiency. In terms of performance we are optimistic now we have had the chance to test, and there is still much to be done and much to be won, over the next five races.”

Krohn Racing

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Series WEC
Article type Previews
Tags brown, ferrari, interlagos, jonsson, krohn, mediani, sao paulo, wec

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