Mexico City: Krohn Racing preview

Krohn Racing Seeks Podium Finish at Mexico City The race at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriquez will be the first sprint race of the season for the Rolex Sports Car Series in Grand-Am Road Racing. A total of 40 entries, including 18 Daytona Prototypes...

Krohn Racing Seeks Podium Finish at Mexico City

The race at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriquez will be the first sprint race of the season for the Rolex Sports Car Series in Grand-Am Road Racing. A total of 40 entries, including 18 Daytona Prototypes are expected to challenge one another for the 400 kilometer/100-lap/2-1/2 hour sprint race. Krohn Racing looks to celebrate another podium finish, as they did last year when Colin Braun and Jorg Bergmeister finished second.

This year the Krohn Racing stable will feature the No. 76 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley with team owner/driver Tracy W. Krohn and Nic Jonsson. The No. 75 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley entry boasts drivers "Mad" Max Papis and Colin Braun.

Tracy W. Krohn, team owner/driver, No. 76 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley:

Regarding competing at the Mexico City Grand-Am race:

"I'm looking forward to racing in Mexico City. It's an interesting track with the long straight and some sweeping turns. We have some high expectations at Mexico. Last year we had a good race and it was our first podium finish for the team. That started off a good run for the year. We're optimistic that we can continue that trend this year."

Regarding goals/expectations at Mexico City:

"Everyone on this team knows how to win. We believe this is going to be an interesting and challenging year for the team. We've got Colin and Max paired up and they are strong teammates. This first sprint race will also give Nic and I a chance to really go for it and put to the test all of the work we've done over the winter with our go-kart training and the extra improvements we've made from last year."

Regarding the Mexico City fans:

"The fans in Mexico City are really great. It is energizing as a driver to see so many enthusiastic and knowledgeable people coming out to cheer for their favorites. We have a good time in Mexico and enjoy talking with the wonderful fans and putting on a good show on the race track."

Nic Jonsson, driver, No. 76 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley:

What are the goals/expectations for the Krohn Racing team going forward after Daytona?

"I have pretty high expectations for whole team. We had a pretty good race in Daytona. Unfortunately we were supplied with some parts that were not up to standard so the team did not have the results we were expecting. I also have a good reason for the expectation -- we had a very good race car down there last year --both cars were good. We had very good results last year with the other car getting on the podium, finishing second with Colin and Jorg. Tracy and I had one of the third or fourth fastest cars as well, but unfortunately got cut off by yellow at the wrong time. I think we're going to be even quicker than 2006 since we improved the car from last year.

Do you have particular goals for the next four sprint races on the schedule, including Mexico City?

"I think the goal is to improve from last year. We were fast for the most part last year, but we had quite a bit of bad luck with the yellows. I think we need, as a team, to try to play the strategies better, so we can finish better this year. We need to try to make our strategy work a little better this year than last year. If we do that, I think we have a good shot at winning a race. Tracy has really picked up his game and we've been go-karting. He's very, very dedicated, and very focused on being better than last year. I'm very encouraged by that and very excited about it."

What are your thoughts on the Mexico City venue?

"I really like the event. The crowd is very enthusiast and get very involved. Obviously they are mostly rooting for their home guys (Mexican drivers) but they are very racing oriented. They understand racing. The track itself is challenging. It has some really, really fast sweeping corners. The back portion of the track is very bumpy. You really need to work hard on the set-up to be able to handle the bumps well but have a good speed as well as straight-line speed, or low downforce. I really like the challenge down there and am looking forward to the race."

Max Papis, driver, No. 75 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley:

How does your mindset differ in a sprint race from an endurance race?

"It's definitely a very important moment because you switch from 'endurance' mind to 'go for it' mind that you need in a short distance race. Not just from the driver standpoint but on the overall team standpoint. That half a second you can gain on a pit stop or the in-lap or out-lap is really going to make a difference. I think the level of intensity is going to come up a lot. It's going to be a matter of capitalizing on opportunities when the opportunities are going to be in front of us."

This weekend is the first pairing of just you and Colin. Comment on your co-driver.

"I'm pleased to have a co-pilot like Colin because he's a very mature guy despite his age. Up to now, we've shared great moments on and off the track. I'm looking forward to top them off with a podium finish. Hopefully it's going to come soon."

What are your thoughts on the Mexico City venue?

"We ran a difference layout there a couple of years ago, so this configuration is new to me. I'm waiting to see how the track is and take it from there. I like the enthusiasm of the people. I really enjoy going to Mexico because the fans are incredible. Their enthusiasm means a lot. Italian and Mexican fans have a lot of in common so I feel very comfortable about that. I just think it's an awesome place to go racing. I'm really looking forward to be there and very excited about it."

Colin Braun, driver, No. 75 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley:

The Mexico City race last year was your first podium of the season. Did it set the tone for the rest of the season?

"Last year, I think we just planned to do the best we could do. It turned out to be a great race for us and we finished second. Then we just kept doing that the whole rest of the year, winning some races and getting some podium finishes, then winning the championship. This year, it's the same mindset...just go out and do the same thing -- be prepared, race smart, race as well as you can. I think the team is prepared well enough and I think we're going to do just fine."

This weekend is the first pairing of just you and Max. Comment on your co-driver.

"Max and I have known each other for a long time. Dad was engineering a race car which Max was driving many years ago. So I know Max really well. We got along well at Daytona as co-drivers and I think we should be a pretty good and formidable combination for the entire season."

What are your thoughts on the Mexico City venue?

"I love the Mexico race track. It's fantastic to drive on with so many sweeping corners. I really love those. I also enjoy all of the fans that come out to watch the race and cheer on all the teams. I enjoy the race at Mexico."

Jeff Hazell, Krohn Racing Team Manager:

What changes have been made to the Krohn Racing Pontiac Rileys since Daytona?

"There's been an investigation by CRD, General Motors and Bosch into the electrical problems that ruined our race at Daytona. It seems that other competitors also had similar problems and most of these problems have been traced to faults in the engine wiring harness, which is a piece mandated by Grand-Am that we must run. These harnesses have subsequently been returned to Bosch for corrective action."

How does the altitude at Mexico affect the car and what kind of adjustments need to be made to accommodate that?

"The altitude does affect the car. The air density alters the aerodynamics and the engine power, amongst other things. There's a good deal of trade-off between those two main considerations. We're returning to Mexico City where we were very competitive last year with a set-up that we believe further optimizes the track. We expect to secure a good result there."

What are the team goals going into the sprint race section of the schedule (4 sprints in a row)?

"Obviously your approach for a sprint race is more combative than for an endurance race. You have to push harder. The driver considers the risks in a different light, less cautious. Otherwise you're simply left behind. Although Mexico City traditionally has very few yellows there, perhaps that will be the case this year. The field is also not that large, only 18 cars, which will likely have an affect on the results."

-credit: kr

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