Laguna Seca: Krohn Racing race report

Krohn Racing Post Race Report from Laguna Seca The fifth round of the 2008 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series brought about the third different race winner in five events -- with Ryan Dalziel and Henri Zogaib, in the No. 2 SAMAX...

Krohn Racing Post Race Report from Laguna Seca

The fifth round of the 2008 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series brought about the third different race winner in five events -- with Ryan Dalziel and Henri Zogaib, in the No. 2 SAMAX BMW Riley, taking the checked flag on Lap 98 of the 250. The two hour and 45-minute race at the 2.240-mile Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca circuit featured eight caution flags, for an average of one nearly ever 12 laps.

The No. 76 Krohn Racing Pontiac Lola of qualifying driver Nic Jonsson and Ricardo Zonta finished ninth in Daytona Prototypes after surviving two on-course spins during racing action. The No. 75 Krohn Racing Pontiac Lola of team owner/driver Tracy W. Krohn and qualifying driver Eric van de Poele finished 13th, after starting from the 18th DP position following an engine change. Both drivers lead at least one lap and Krohn received a drive-thru penalty for what Grand-Am officials termed 'manipulating the start'.

Tracy W. Krohn, team owner/driver, No. 75 Krohn Racing Pontiac Lola: "I still do not understand the reason for the drive-thru penalty from Grand-Am. I have not had a chance to talk to race officials about it yet, but I will. The cars were good today. They're getting better. The cars were quick the first part of the race. We had some pick-up issues with tires, but other than that I would say the cars are getting stronger and faster every time. We've still got a long way to go to get them exactly like we want it, but it's coming quicker now than it was at the beginning. The information we've gathered in the most recent test is starting to pay off. I'm looking forward to the next race at Watkins Glen."

Eric van de Poele, driver, No. 75 Krohn Racing Pontiac Lola: "It was very nice to do the qualifying and take the start. The car was not quite there yet for qualifying so we didn't have a very good qualifying run but it was nice. It's always good to have the spirit of qualifying.

The race was good because the car was finally competitive. We changed the engine so we had to start from the back of the DP class for the race. We played a new strategy and I stopped on the first lap and then when the first caution came I stayed out. Everybody stopped and I was in the lead. During my stint I was able to pass other cars. Then I had a stupid spin at the restart. The tires picked up a lot of rubber and I spun. I managed to stay on the lead lap though. Then Tracy had a pretty good run, except for the penalty they called on him. He had a tire problem, same as I, and spun, then tried to save the car so he was not quick at the last corner. They said he did that on purpose and assessed a drive-thru penalty for it. All in all our strategy was good again. I wish we could have a better beginning of weekend so we could be further along by race day. Hopefully next time."

Nic Jonsson, driver, No. 76 Krohn Racing Pontiac Lola: "We qualified eighth and unfortunately the car is not as quick as we wish on the one lap qualifiers. However, we have a new car with the Proto-Auto Lola, so each track we have to get new data from last year. The Rileys, of course, are much faster out of box because they already have set-ups. We have to start from scratch each weekend. It took us a little time but we improved the car every time out. We didn't have a lot of track time Friday and then had an hour warm-up this morning. (Team manager and engineer) David (Brown) changed a few things. He was able to get the car the best it's been all weekend.

We had a pretty good start for the race. We were sixth going into turn one and ran very competitively the whole race. We weren't pushing the car too hard and were pacing ourselves. The first yellow came out and we came in and topped off with fuel. Then we worked our way back up again. Another yellow came out and we stayed out. I collected a lot of pick-up on the tires that I could not shed. I worked the tires hard trying to get them clean. My pace dropped off considerably -- probably seven- or eight-tenths from the previous stint before the yellow. I was basically holding on there and trying to not make any mistakes and make it to the next stop so I could hand the car over to Ricardo, which we did under the next yellow. It took Ricardo a little while to get up to speed with a lot of traffic. About a third into the stint he really got going and had one of the quickest cars out there towards the end of race.

He got a really good run on the 59 car going into turn one and slid wide and went off the track and lost quite a few track positions. I think we went from 4th down to 14th but Ricardo got us way back up to 9th at the finish. We're a little disappointed though because we had a better car than that. We're still fifth in the championship and gained some point on fourth and third place in the championship. We have to keep developing the car and improve it even more for Watkins Glen. We hope to go up there and have a good run and look for podium with the new Lola."

Ricardo Zonta, driver, No. 76 Krohn Racing Pontiac Lola: "It was fun. The car was one of the best cars we have had so far. I think I was pushing very hard and trying to go for the first place, not just to be on the podium. I pushed too hard and went off at turn one. The car was a podium placing car. I just went too wide at corner one when I was looking in my mirrors. I was pushing very hard and trying to pass everybody I could but not lose time.

I had a lot of fun. It was nice to overtake many cars during the race. It was a good fight.I had one of the fastest laps of the race. The car was really quick. We could go very fast every lap. Laguna is not a track you can overtake easily. You have to be very aggressive to overtake there."

The 250 race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca will be televised next day tape delayed, on Sunday, May 18th on SPEED TV at 12:00 noon EDT.

The next Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series race, Round 6 of 14 will be the Six Hours at The Glen in Watkins Glen, New York on June 6-7.

-credit: kr

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Nic Jönsson
Teams Krohn Racing