strong start Krohn Racing/TRG enters the Feb. 5 and 6 Rolex 24 At Daytona buoyed by a strong performance during the January event test at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. The team set the second-fastest lap of the test in...
Krohn Racing/TRG enters the Feb. 5 and 6 Rolex 24 At Daytona buoyed by a strong performance during the January event test at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. The team set the second-fastest lap of the test in only the fifth track day for its new Pontiac-powered Riley Mk XI cars. 2004 Rolex Sports Car Series DP co-champion Max Papis of Italy, now living in Miami Beach, Fla., is driving the No. 66 Riley with Jorg Bergmeister of Langenfeld, Germany, and Oliver Gavin of Northamptonshire, England. Tracy Krohn of Houston is joined by Nic Jonsson of Buford, Ga., Buddy Rice of Phoenix and Boris Said of Carlsbad, Calif., in the No. 67 Riley.
"The Daytona 24-Hour has always been one of the greatest goals in my career. I already won it once overall, but I really would like to win it many more times. This year will mean even more because it will be very, very competitive. In order to be successful, you don't just need a good team and a good group of drivers, you really need to stretch yourself to the limit," Papis noted. "With Oliver Gavin and Jorg Bergmeister, we have a superb lineup."
Haas CNC Racing, which competes in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series with driver Mike Bliss and in the Busch Series with Justin Labonte, nabbed Krohn/TRG driver Nic Jonsson for help with car setup and driver coaching this season. Based on his international experience as a factory test-driver, Jonsson noted some of the different approaches to car setup between sports-car and stock-car racing.
"They come to the same conclusion, but they have a completely different way of getting there," he said. "While we have three- or four-way adjustable shocks on our [sports] cars, they have just one-way shocks. They can't adjust them, they have to change the shocks every time they want to do something. They aren't allowed to do any data acquisition on race weekends, so they wire up the car and do all this during testing."
Jorg Bergmeister has already collected two Rolex watches for overall and class victories with TRG at Daytona. He also posted the second- fastest lap time during the January test. What does he think it takes to win on the 3.56-mile infield road course?
"You need a good car! On one lap, we are already pretty good, but more important is the race setup -- to keep the tires in good shape for a race stint -- and a reliable car. You need a pretty balanced car for the whole stint, not a quick car for five or six laps and then a really slow one for the last laps. We try to find the quickest compromise."