The third round of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series at Homestead-Miami Speedway proved to be challenging for the Krohn Racing team today. The No. 75 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley of Max Papis and Colin Braun, who started from the second row in...
The third round of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series at Homestead-Miami Speedway proved to be challenging for the Krohn Racing team today. The No. 75 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley of Max Papis and Colin Braun, who started from the second row in the fourth position, finished eighth overall. The No. 76 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley of owner/driver Tracy Krohn and Nic J0x00f6nsson finished 18th in class.
The Linder Industrial Komatsu Grand Prix of Miami race featured seven cautions in the 91-lap/two hour and thirty minute event. Race winners were Bill Auberlen and Matthew Alhadoff in the No. 05 Team Sigalsport BMW Riley, first-time Grand-Am victors.
The first caution of the race was brought out when Krohn went into the gravel trap in Turn One on the first lap in the No. 76 Pontiac Riley after he got pushed wide and slid off into the marbles. A pit stop for new tires, fuel and removal of gravel put the No. 76 Krohn team down two laps. On Lap 11 Braun was assessed a drive-through penalty after mixing it up with the No. 23 Porsche Crawford while in second-place. He exited in the 11th position overall but made it back into the Top Five by the restart from a second caution on Lap 24. Papis took over the wheel of the No. 75 Krohn entry under caution on Lap 50, while in third position. Two more cautions for 18 of the nearly 39 remaining laps made a run for the lead impossible.
Jonsson took over driving from Krohn in the No. 76 Krohn entry on Lap 49. On Lap 67 J0x00f6nsson was hit by a GT car at pit out, causing him to be punted into the gravel trap, finishing the car for the day. This was Krohn Racing's first DNF (did not finish) in the team's history.
Colin Braun, driver, No. 75 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley:
"The Krohn Racing guys did a really good job. The car was good in the race. We had a rough start with a couple of the officiating calls and made it back up and were sitting fine. We just didn't have the pace the leaders did at the end. We're going to go testing then go to VIR and hopefully be a little bit quicker there."
Tracy W. Krohn, team owner/driver, No. 76 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley:
"This was the first DNF we've ever had as a team. I guess sooner or later it's going to happen. I made a small mistake going into (turn) one at a big price. Then Nick had a little bad luck with one of the Porsches. I think it was the No. 72 car that went left pit lane and went straight to apex and Nick had no place to go. It happens. The car was actually pretty good. Mid-stint for me, the car came back to us as the track heated up. We made the right adjustments to start with and the track came back to us a little bit. It was very different as the track began to heat up. It did what we thought it would do so we got that part right."
Max Papis, driver, No. 75 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley:
"It was definitely an eventful race for us. We had to go to a different strategy after we got the drive through (penalty). We found ourselves a little bit in the middle of the pack. It was particularly difficult today to get by people. The mechanics did a great job to keep everything under control. We got some important points for the championship. When you can't win, it's good to finish. I think today was a great team effort and I'm really proud of all my guys."
Nic Jonsson, driver, No. 76 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley:
"I was asked by the team to let the No. 58 car by because we were already down two laps. A GT car coming out of the pits ran wide and hit me and forced me into the gravel. We later learned he blew a tire and just went into me. That's what I get for being a nice guy. Lesson learned. I won't do that again. It messed up the car pretty bad and we were already down two laps with less than 30 laps to go, so we didn't think we could improve our position if we fixed it."
Jeff Hazell, Krohn Racing Team Manager:
"I think that the call on Colin for the drive-through was pretty harsh. I don't think it was clear cut by any means. In fact, it's hard to think of any incident in the race that required a penalty. The guys were out there racing. There was a bit of rubbing and what have you. There were some small errors but nothing particularly serious. I think there are far too many penalties. It destroys the racing and maybe that's why we don't have the number of spectators we should have."
Papis and Braun now sit in fourth position in the Daytona Prototype point championship with 75 points, 18 points behind leader Scott Pruett (93). Krohn and Braun are now in tenth place in the points chase with 54.
Round Four of the 14-race 2007 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series will be at Virginia International Raceway next on April 28-29 in Alton, Virginia.