Krohn Racing Welcomes Le Mans and ILMC Invitation
Completes Successful Test in Preparation for 12 Hours of Sebring Race
This week Krohn Racing was announced as one of 26 race team entries invited to participate in the 2011 Intercontinental Le Mans Cup Series, a global sports car endurance race series featuring seven championship events on three continents between March and November 2011. Krohn Racing was the only American team invited in the GT class and one of only two American teams on the international roster.
The entry list for the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans race was also announced this week by the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO), sanctioning body of both the ILMC and the 24 hour Le Mans race. Krohn Racing was selected as one of 56 entries (of 71 entered) for the 79th Annual 24 Hours of Le Mans race to be held on June 11-12, 2011 in Le Mans, France.
"We're very pleased that our entry into the ILMC has been accepted. I couldn't be happier about that," said team owner/driver Tracy W. Krohn. "This is a very exciting new phase for Krohn Racing. I think it is going to open up some new opportunities for us. I believe we have a reasonable chance at success in this series. I'm looking forward to getting started.
"As far as Le Mans in concerned, it's been a real goal to be able to go to Le Mans with our own team," added Krohn, a Houston, Texas native. "Now we have the honor of being able to do exactly that. I would like to be able to do that for many years to come."
Krohn Racing will compete in a Ferrari 430 GT in the GTE-Am class for Sportsman drivers in both the ILMC Series and at Le Mans. Once again, teammate Nic Jonsson will co-drive with Krohn for the season. A third driver will be announced at a later date for the longer races at Le Mans and the 12 Hours of Sebring.
"This is something we have been talking about for the last six to eight months, since we knew the ILMC Series was going to start in 2011," said Nic Jonsson, formerly of Sweden and now based in metro Atlanta, Georgia. "To have the opportunity to do that with Tracy Krohn, as both a team owner and my teammate and co-driver for seven years, as well as a very close friend is a dream come true for me. It's not just to drive in an international platform but to do it with someone you really enjoy spending time with, driving together with, and have had success together is unbelievable. I'm so fortunate to get this opportunity and can't be thankful enough to the whole Krohn team and of course, Tracy personally for giving me this opportunity.
Jonsson and Krohn have co-driven to two podium finishes at the 24 Hours of Le Mans (second in 2007 and third at 2009) and a second-place finish at the 12 Hours of Sebring (2008). Additionally they co-drove to a victory in the 2005 Six Hours at the Glen in Watkins Glen, New York in 2005. Jonsson won two Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series races in 2009 with co-driver Ricardo Zonta in a Krohn Racing entry.
Krohn Racing recently completed a successful two-day test at Sebring International Raceway in preparation for the 12 Hours of Sebring, March 19, 2011. This was the first official test for the Krohn Racing team with the new Ferrari 430 GT and the first time on new Dunlop Tires.
"We have had good support from Michelotto, Ferrari and Dunlop on this new program," said Krohn Racing Team Manager/Race Engineer David Brown. "We appreciate the assistance they have given us so far and look forward to working with them throughout the season on developing a success racing program for Krohn Racing."
Tracy Krohn, Nic Jonsson and Krohn Racing Team Manager/Race Engineer David Brown share some additional thoughts below:
Tracy W. Krohn, Krohn Racing team owner/driver, No. 57 Krohn Racing Ferrari 430 GT:
Please share your thoughts about the new Ferrari 430 GT and competition in the GTE clas "The test went quite well. Actually, at the end of the day we were fairly competitive. I think we still have some work to do and we learned a great deal about the performance of the car under our own tutelage. We did some set-up evaluations and learned a great deal about the car for the team's benefit. We also learned a great deal about the tires.
"It looks like competition is going to be really strong. I was told there was going to be over 55 cars to start the Sebring race, which is a big field. I think at least 20 of those are GT so it's going to be very competitive. There were several cars that were not at the Test. So we weren't testing with a full traffic load. With over 55 cars on the track in several different classes, that's going to be very challenging."
How did you like the new Dunlop tires? "We've got very good support from Dunlop on the tires. We were pleased with the performance. We have some more to learn but I think, all in all, the tires are quite good. We are going to be running this car under what are probably different conditions, such as warmer temperatures, so we'll have some future adjustments to make on what we learned at the Test."
Nic Jonsson, Krohn Racing driver, No. 57 Krohn Racing Ferrari 430 GT:
Please share your thoughts about the new Ferrari 430 GT and competition. in the GTE class "It's the first time we've been to an official test with Krohn Racing running the Ferrari 430. Krohn Racing has worked with Risi-Competizione for the last four years with much success. That has been very educational for us and a great learning curve. Now it is really nice to have our own guys working on it full-time, instead of it being a rental program with just two or three races a year. It's always different when you have your own car and your own team in the shop full-time with all the details and able to make adjustments. The way Krohn Racing works is we all know each other really well and we look after each other. The team is just a big family. It feels very nice to have the opportunity to run the 430 together with Krohn Racing for an all-year effort.
"I don't think it matters where you look in racing these days. Obviously the pinnacle of racing is in Formula One, but if you look anywhere else, the competition is in GT category. It is stunning! You have the BMW factory, Corvette, Jaguar, Porsche, Ferrari, Lamborghini factory...and it just goes on and on and on. To actually be a part of and to run in this class and run against these manufacturers from around the world against the best drivers there is in sports car racing is unbelievable. Additionally you look at the fact you are there with the best factories with heritage from winning numerous endurance races, from Daytona to Sebring to Le Mans. This is an incredible opportunity for Krohn Racing to go out and show what Krohn Racing can do. We all know that Krohn Racing is a first class operation that Tracy has given us an opportunity to put together. It's going to be a fantastic year to be able to go out and compete on an international platform with Krohn Racing and with Tracy as my teammate."
David Brown, Krohn Racing Team Manager/Race Engineer:
Please share your thoughts on being invited by the ACO to compete at Le Mans and in the ILMC Series. "We are very happy to have been accepted into both the ILMC and Le Mans entries. It's a great opportunity for us to be involved in a truly intercontinental series and to participate in the most prestigious sports car race on the planet."
Also share your thoughts about the new Ferrari 430 GT and your thoughts on being back with the ALMS for the 12 Hours of Sebring. "We are encouraged by the performance and sensitivity of the F430 to setup changes, although it's difficult to gauge the true speed of the competition. We are certainly learning plenty and we feel we still have time to achieve from the car. We are looking forward to Sebring enormously. The competition is both extensive and high quality. We will really have to be on top of our game at Sebring."
How did you like the new Dunlop tires? "The Sebring Test was our first experience with the Dunlop tires and it has been very positive. We look forward to a fruitful and successful relationship with them."
The Krohn Racing team recently finished in sixth place in the Rolex 24 at Daytona Grand-Am Rolex Series race. The first ILMC/ALMS race of the season will be the 59th Annual 12 Hours of Sebring on March 19th.
-source: krohn Racing