Mid-Ohio: Krohn Racing preview

Krohn Racing Preview for Mid-Ohio Grand-Am Coming off of an impressive podium finish in the GT-2 class at the historic 24 Hours of Le Mans race last weekend, their second in three years, the Krohn Racing team is excited to be headed back to ...

Krohn Racing Preview for Mid-Ohio Grand-Am

Coming off of an impressive podium finish in the GT-2 class at the historic 24 Hours of Le Mans race last weekend, their second in three years, the Krohn Racing team is excited to be headed back to the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series. This weekend's EMCO Gears Classic at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, on Saturday, June 20th, will be Round 6 of 11 and the fourth DP sprint race of the season.

The No. 76 Krohn Racing Ford Lola will again feature drivers Nic Jonsson and Ricardo Zonta in a single car effort by Krohn Racing this weekend. Team owner/driver Tracy W. Krohn and Eric van de Poele will return at Round 7 in Daytona for their second Grand-Am DP race of the 2009 season with the No. 75 Krohn Racing Ford Lola.

The No. 76 entry will again be sporting a combination of Krohn Racing and Krohn Aviation livery. Krohn Aviation is a subsidiary of Krohn Racing and is the management entity of a Falcon 2000 aircraft.

TRACY W. KROHN, Team Owner/Driver Krohn Racing:

You are just coming off a fantastic podium finish at Le Mans in the GT2 class; it's your second Le Mans podium in 3 years. So many drivers never achieve that even once in their lifetime. Please tell us about that experience.

"To stand up there on the podium at Le Mans for the second time in three years is awesome. You're stunned and on top of that it's a very knowledgeable group of fans. Nine of the 10 Ferraris finished - it's phenomenal and to be part of that in what is not just an endurance race, but rather a sprint race for 24 hours, is humbling. You have to remember that we don't drive this car very often [the Ferrari), the three of us. You couldn't have predicted what might happen...it's incredible."

The Krohn Racing team is now back to focusing on Grand-Am Rolex racing in North America. You won't be in the car this weekend at Mid-Ohio but you and Eric will be back for the July 4th race at Daytona. This weekend will be a one-car effort with Nic & Ricardo. Please share your thought on Mid-Ohio race expectations.

"I am very excited to get back into the cockpit of the Proto-Auto Lola and can't wait for Daytona. Mid-Ohio is a real drivers track and I know Nic and Ricardo enjoy competing there. It's a technical track and we usually do well there so I am looking for positive results from the guys. If it rains again, it will be challenging. Last year it rained and was the first time we'd raced in the rain with the Proto-Auto Lola. Now we've got the rain racing down pretty well and better understand the new tires. As you know, we got our first Proto-Auto Lola victory in the rain at New Jersey last month. Regardless of rain or dry, the team will be making a 100% effort to do their best and I hope that amounts to another podium finish."

NIC JONSSON, Driver, No. 76 Krohn Racing Ford Lola:

You are just coming off a fantastic podium finish at Le Mans in the GT2 class; it's your second Le Mans podium in three years. So many drivers never achieve that even once in their lifetime. Please tell us about that experience.

"As we all know Le Mans is the biggest sports car event in the world and is considered one of the biggest motorsports events in the world, together with the Indy 500 and the Monaco Grand Prix. To just be able to be there and be a part of the 24 Hours of Le Mans is something fantastic and a life experience. And on top of that being there with Risi Competizione and Krohn Racing and racing in the GT-2 class with a Ferrari on Ferrari's 60th anniversary of their first win at Le Mans was also a very special feeling.

"Finishing third and being able to step out on that podium with 100,000 people looking up at you on Sunday afternoon you just get the chills. You get goose bumps really. You can't truly understand how big the race is until you are standing up there on the podium. It doesn't matter if you are an American or a Swede or a Belgian or French, whatever you are, people share your awe. They share the awe with everyone who has success at Le Mans because of how special it is. The fans understand racing. They appreciate everybody's efforts. To be on the podium for the second time in three years with the Risi Competizione-Krohn Racing team speaks volumes. I can't say enough about having Eric and Tracy as my teammates. They did a fantastic job. To end up on the podium with a one-three finish for the Risi Competizione team and for Giuseppe Risi is a great result."

You have been in an endurance mode with the 6 Hours at the Glen and Le Mans and also are on a full three week racing schedule with international travel. How do you get rested up and ready for the sprint race at Mid-Ohio this weekend?

"First of all, I committed myself to a training and nutrition program back in November 2008. I wanted to lose about 17-18 pounds and get back into the shape I was when I played hockey professionally back in the 1980s and 90's. I worked very hard over the winter and got back into the shape of my lifetime. I think that is paying off both on and off the track. I have a much easier way to get sleep and to drive double and triple stints. I just don't get tired. I eat a different way. I'm just in much better shape and condition that makes life easier and to be able to recoup. That has helped me a lot the last few weeks. Quite honestly, I don't see any problems with being back in shape and with plenty of sleep for this weekend. I should be back in sprint mood and go back there with the Krohn Racing Proto-Auto Lola and hopefully have another good run and potential victory there with Ricardo Zonta."

Mid-Ohio is a classic road racing circuit. Please share your impressions about the circuit and the positives and negatives about it for the Krohn Racing Ford Lola.

"I think it's a fantastic configuration. I think it's one of the most fun race tracks, along with Watkins Glen, that we have in this country. It has a little bit of everything. It has elevation changes, fast, long straightaways. It has some hairpins, and off camber corners where you have to get off the corner well and power down. You also have to have a car that turns real well. I think the track has a little bit of everything. It has plenty of passing opportunities. There is always going to be a lot of wheel-to-wheel racing there because it's such a short course and it's very tight. Even though it is tight, it still offers a lot of passing opportunities. That's why I think it is one of the most exciting tracks. Both Ricardo and I are up for going wheel-to-wheel with people and fight it out. I'm really looking to it and I think we're going to have a fantastic run this weekend."

RICARDO ZONTA, Driver No. 76 Krohn Racing Ford Lola:

What do you think about your teammates results at Le Mans -- 3rd in the GT-2 class?

"I am very happy for Tracy, Nic and Eric and especially for Tracy. To be on the podium at Le Mans is a very special feeling. I was fortunate to be on the podium with Peugeot last year. I understand what a great thing this must be for Tracy."

Mid-Ohio is a classic road racing course and you have only driven it once -- last year. What are your impressions about the circuit and what do you like and why?

"I enjoy the close racing and the atmosphere in Grand-Am competition. I think we can do well at Mid-Ohio with the Proto-Auto Lola because the Pirelli tires should work well with our car to give us good grip. I am really looking forward to getting in the car again, and who knows........it might rain!"

What is going to be most challenging at Mid-Ohio?

"The possibility for rain at Mid-Ohio again is good. However, maybe that can help us again since we generally have a very good car in the rain."

DAVID BROWN, Krohn Racing Team Manager and Engineer:

What do you think about the Risi-Krohn Ferrari team results at Le Mans -- 3rd in the GT-2 class?

"It's an outstanding effort on the part of the Tracy, Eric and Nic and the Team to finish on the podium in such a high quality field. For Ferrari to be so dominant and Risi Competizione to have a first and third is a great achievement."

What is going to be most challenging at Mid-Ohio?

"Most likely the weather is going to be the most challenging. We have a good baseline car. We will be testing some developments in practice and we will see if they work well here. We need to qualify well and be smart on our feet if it rains in the race."

Mid-Ohio is a classic road racing circuit. Please share your impressions about the circuit and the positives and negatives about it for the Krohn Racing Ford Lola.

"Mid Ohio is a proper road course combining slow and medium speed corners as well as elevation changes and crests in the back half of the track. It's fairly low grip and normally attracts rain! Not that we particularly mind if it rains. There are overtaking spots and areas which challenge the car and the drivers, so plenty of variety to keep us busy. Our car responds well to the types of corners at Mid Ohio, while the surface is quite low grip. The challenge is to have a well-balanced car in changing track conditions, and make the right set-up compromises."

The Risi-Krohn Ferrari 430 GT of Tracy W. Krohn, Nic Jonsson and Eric van de Poele captured third-place in the 77th annual running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans race on June 14-15. They previously placed on the podium with the same Prancing Horse model in 2007 with drivers Krohn, Jonsson and former Krohn Racing hotshoe Colin Braun, who just won his first NASCAR Truck race at Michigan last weekend.

Last year at Mid-Ohio, Jonsson, who started fifth and led briefly, and Zonta finished ninth after getting caught out on a late pit stop. For the 2008 Grand-Am season, Jonsson and Zonta teamed to a record two podiums, six Top 5 and nine Top 10 finishes. Additionally, Zonta claimed one pole position and one fastest lap record. In 2009 so far, Krohn Racing has one victory (New Jersey), a 9th place finish at Watkins Glen and three DNF's in the No. 76 entry, along with one DNF in one race (Rolex 24) in the No. 75 Ford Lola.

-credit: kr

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