TRACY KROHN, Risi-Krohn Ferrari 430 GT Qualifying Driver: Regarding qualifying: "The thing about qualifying, although we didn't qualify quite as high as we wanted to (11th in class), is we've got a car we can race without changing anything. This...
TRACY KROHN, Risi-Krohn Ferrari 430 GT Qualifying Driver:
Regarding qualifying: "The thing about qualifying, although we didn't qualify quite as high as we wanted to (11th in class), is we've got a car we can race without changing anything. This is a race set-up and I think the team will be very pleased with it. I know all the drivers will be pleased with it, so I'm looking forward to that. We've tried several things all week long and it looks like we've finally got it ironed out here. The car is going to be very manageable and very drivable."
Regarding teammates Jonsson and van de Poele: "The good thing is I get to drive with two very seasoned professionals that have a lot of input for me and that really helps a lot. The other side of it that is real positive is that nothing upsets them. They know what happens and they know what to do. We've got a car that is very competitive. We expect to be very consistent till the end of the race. That's how we expect to finish on the podium is with consistency and good times. The weather is just perfect. You can't get any better than this. We expect that race conditions will be very similar to what they are right now, which is warm but not overly hot.The car is very good in these conditions. It will be better as it cools just a little bit. This should be great for the fans and the drivers. Everybody should be happy with these conditions."
NIC JONSSON, Driver, No. 61 Risi-Krohn Ferrari 430 GT:
"This event is a very long event. We started out practicing on Monday and we've been trying out a lot of different things. Unfortunately, we have not had enough of the tires which we prefer to run on the car. We've had to do some other things on the car to get a feel for it. I think we are getting very close. Tracy did an awesome job Thursday in qualifying and we basically have been working on our race set-up since the very beginning. We did not really work on a qualifying set-up because to us, that doesn't really make sense. We have just worked on getting ready for the race and make sure we get in to a steady, safe pace and stay out of trouble. Hopefully we'll have some help with attrition and be able to have a very good race and have a good result."
ERIC VAN DE POELE, Driver, No. 61 Risi-Krohn Ferrari 430 GT:
"The team has done perfect preparation. The car is perfect. Everything is really good and we concentrated the set-up the car for the race. There is so much testing here for in preparation for the Sebring race so we have not done every session because it is not necessary. Everything feels ready so it is nice. The more difficult point for me is that I have always driven a prototype here. Braking points and stuff like that are different between the classes. I still have a point to brake late in the corner so I have to try to get disciplined about that and be smoother and it will be okay."
Regarding GT-2 competition: "The lap times are unbelievably close. It is going to be very close for the whole race. You are going to see competition next door all the time. That's fun. It is difficult because we have to plan that the prototypes will be coming around us all the time, so it is quite a new experience. Tracy did a very good lap time for qualifying, the best he ever did here. Everything looks good. Everybody feels comfortable in the car and it's very good for the race."
MARK SCHOMANN, Team Engineer, No. 61 Risi-Krohn Ferrari 430 GT:
"Leading up to the race it was difficult because the 2008 bodywork, the updates for this chassis, came to us quite late that it was really a struggle getting this car prepared in time. The guys on the team did just a great job. It ran flawlessly when we first got here. We had some issues with the drivers being comfortable with the set-up of the car we came here with and we actually flat-spotted quite a few sets of tires. In retrospect, it is kind of interesting because it made us work harder. We did all our set-up on the tires we aren't going to race on so we would not waste what's left of our race allotment. I now think that is was good for us. It made the drivers work and think more. It made me think more. And now as the car is getting ready for the race and getting on to our allotment of tires to race, the car is better and they are happier with it. It almost worked in our favor, which is funny to say at this point because I was pretty discouraged on Tuesday. The drivers have done a great job. They've kept it on the track and haven't scratched the paint. Now our allotment of tires will work for the race and they're very happy with the car so they have really done a good job."
Regarding competition: "Everybody is facing harder competition this year. We were optimistic after our spring test. Then after the winter test here at Sebring we were very optimistic because we had made gains, especially over the bumps. We didn't think the Porsche was going to bring as much as it brought. They are very fast -- and all of them are, not just a selected few. So the level of competition this year is going to be even higher than last year, which was aggressive already. There are more cars and some of the new cars that have come in, I think will eventually find their way and make more competitive cars. We're going to have to do our homework all year. Everybody who ran up front last year that thought they were going to come back and still be up front, it's not a given anymore. I think everybody is going to have to really do their homework. Even in this race, though it is early on in the year, a lot of the cars that showed up new seem to have accomplished a lot here this week. They might be very competitive for the race, which we didn't expect. So, I think it is going to be a tough race and the Porsches are definitely going to be right there. And now Tafel Racing (Ferrari team) will make us do our homework even more because we are racing against other Ferraris, not just the Porsches. I look forward to it. I think our team does in general. Heavy competition is really what we're looking for here and I think what our drivers are looking for. That's why we're here!"
The 56th Annual 12 Hours of Sebring will be broadcast live on SPEED TV beginning at 9:30 a.m., until 1:00 p.m., then from 3:00-11:30 p.m. Nic Jonsson will start the Risi-Krohn Ferrari 430 GT from 11th in class (GT2) and 29th overall in a 35-car field