Houston: Krohn/Risi pre-race notes

Krohn Risi Competizione Ferrari Team Looks to Make Big Splash in Hometown of Houston The Lone Star Grand Prix of Houston race has an exciting hometown team. Tracy W. Krohn (Krohn Racing) and Risi Competizione, both based in Houston, Texas, are...

Krohn Risi Competizione Ferrari Team Looks to Make Big Splash in Hometown of Houston

The Lone Star Grand Prix of Houston race has an exciting hometown team. Tracy W. Krohn (Krohn Racing) and Risi Competizione, both based in Houston, Texas, are running a Ferrari 430GT in this weekend's Lone Star Grand Prix of Houston race. The race, which will be held at the JAGFlo Speedway at Reliant Park in downtown Houston on Saturday, April 21 at 5:30 p.m. CT, is one of four American Le Mans Series (ALMS) races for the Krohn Risi Competizione Ferrari team in 2007.

"I am very excited to be racing in my hometown of Houston," said Krohn Racing owner/driver Tracy Krohn. "We've got a huge group of employees, their families and many friends coming out to the race to cheer us on. I believe our guest list is over 500 people right now. That's a lot of cheerleaders and we're happy to have them!

"This race is a great event in downtown Houston around the Reliant Arena, Stadium and Astrodome," added Krohn, who is the founder, chairman and CEO of W&T Offshore, a gas and oil exploration business in Houston. "It should bring plenty of race fans out to watch some good racing. I'm glad to be a part of it, especially with Giuseppe Risi and his Risi Competizione Ferrari team. They do a great job with the car and we want to win for them in their hometown as well."

Krohn's teammate in the green No. 61 Krohn Risi Competizione Ferrari 430GT in the GT2 class is Nic Jonsson. Jonsson is also his co-driver in the Krohn Racing Daytona Prototype Pontiac Riley in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series.

"I am delighted that Krohn Racing has been able to form a relationship with Giuseppe Risi to enter a second Ferrari through Risi Competizione to run in Krohn Racing colors for four America Le Mans Series races and the 24 Hours of Le Mans," said Krohn, who was born and raised in Houston. "And I'm excited to be sharing the car with Nic as a teammate. The Krohn Racing operation, headquartered in Atlanta, continues to campaign the two-car Grand-Am race team for the season. We'll race those cars next at VIR in Virginia the weekend after this."

"A street race is always a bigger challenge than any other race because there is not much practice and test time on the track," said Jonsson, who has been Krohn's teammate for four years and driving coach for several more. "It is limited, only about one or one and a half hours of track time before the race event. It makes for much more pressure on the team to set-up the car. Also you get a much bumpier course with street races. You don't have any room for margin; you have to be on case all the time. It is very challenging and exciting and makes for a more even playing field."

The first race of 2007 for the No. 61 Krohn Risi Competizione Ferrari was the 12 Hours of Sebring last month. Krohn and Jonsson paired with third co-driver Colin Braun, an 18-year-old hotshoe from Ovalo, Texas. They finished ninth in class after suffering extensive damage from an on-track incident that kept them in the garage for over an hour to make repairs. They hope to better their Top Ten Sebring finish position at Houston in the shorter two-hour and 45-minute race format.

"We had a tough break at Sebring and want to make a better showing in our hometown," said Krohn. "The Ferrari is a good car on the street course. The handling and fuel economy should suit us well on the Houston circuit."

"The Ferrari is an excellent car all together," added Jonsson, who finished third in the GT2 class in the Risi Ferrari at the Long Beach Grand Prix last weekend. "On the street course, it is very nimble and rides the bump quite well. The Ferrari is as good or better than the Porsche race car and should fare well on the street course at Houston."

In addition to the 12 Hours of Sebring and the Houston Grand Prix races, Krohn and Jonsson will also compete in the Monterey Sports Car Championship finale in Laguna Seca, California, October 18.

The duo will have Braun join them for the Petit Le Mans race at Road Atlanta on October 4-6 and the world famous 24 Heures du Mans/24 Hours of Le Mans, on June 16-17, in Le Mans, France.

Krohn, who only began racing five years ago at age 48, got his start in the Panoz Racing series. Jonsson, from Sweden, and Krohn first paired in 2004 and have been teammates since. They had 12 Top 20 finishes last season, including a fifth-place finish at the Rolex 24 At Daytona. Nic was a Touring Car and F3 champion before going sports car racing in 2001.

The 2006 GT2 Team Champions, Risi Competizione, campaign another Ferrari in the ALMS series, the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 430GT. Drivers Mika Sala and Jaime Melo currently lead the GT2 point standings and will try for their fourth straight victory of 2007 in the team's Houston hometown race.

-credit: kr

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Nic Jönsson
Teams Krohn Racing , Risi Competizione