Krohn Racing drivers Tracy W. Krohn and Nic J0x00f6nsson return from competing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in a Ferrari 430 GT this week and travel to the EMCO Gears Classic presented by KeyBank race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington,...
Krohn Racing drivers Tracy W. Krohn and Nic J0x00f6nsson return from competing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in a Ferrari 430 GT this week and travel to the EMCO Gears Classic presented by KeyBank race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, June 18-19. We begin the second half of the season with Round 7 of 12 on the 2010 GRAND-Am Rolex Sports Car Series, a two hour and forty-five minute race.
Team owner/driver Tracy Krohn is currently leading the GRAND-AM Sportsman point standing, the Jim Trueman Award, by 31 points over the closest competitor. The Trueman Award is for race drivers who do not make their primary living as a professional driver. Points are awarded based on a formula which includes the race finishing position, laps completed and time spent in the race car.
TRACY W. KROHN, Team Owner/Driver No. 75 Krohn Racing Ford Lola:
Please tell us briefly about your Le Mans experience this year. "First, it was a bit of a struggle to get the set-up right and then when we did, we really nailed it! The car was so good before the race. We all agreed that handling was the best it has ever been. Eric is a perfectionist, but then we changed the master cylinder for the brakes and even Eric was completely satisfied. Then shortly after Nic started the race, something broke and the car became very difficult to drive. When I got in the car it felt more like I was 'hanging on' than driving! About the end of my first stint one of the LMP1 cars used me for a brake and caused a lot of damage to the front left suspension and we were suddenly down about 8 laps. The car was much better after that, but then the left bank failed with oil coming out of the exhaust and that ended our race. We do well at Le Mans on odd numbered years for some reason."
You are now switching back to driving the Grand-Am Prototype car at a very traditional U.S. race course. What are you looking forward to most? "One of the things I am looking forward to is a good finish at Mid-Ohio and then getting back home to Houston as we will have been gone for several weeks! Mid-Ohio is such a fun track to drive and we always like racing there!"
What is going to be most challenging at Mid-Ohio this year? "I think one of the most challenging things is going from a low downforce car to a much higher downforce car. At Le Mans it was, of course, just the opposite. The first time through the first kink on the Mulsanne, I misjudged the braking zone because I had not yet made the mental adjustment for the braking and hit the brakes quite late and just sailed through into the bailout zone to driver's left and just laughed at myself for not realizing where my normal marks are for that track. Fortunately that didn't happen again, but I will be wary of the same thing in reverse at Mid-Ohio!!"
NIC JONSSON, Driver, No. 75 Krohn Racing Ford Lola:
Please tell us briefly about your Le Mans race experience. "Le Mans is always a great experience and one of the biggest. Being a part of that with Risi Competizione, Krohn Racing and Ferrari is as good as it gets. We qualified well on Wednesday in seventh position. We experienced electrical problems on Thursday. Everybody else went quicker that day but we didn't get to better our time, focusing on the electrical issues and race prep. We started the race from the 12th position and were running good times and consistent times. Tracy had contact with a prototype car and that caused as additional pit for repairs and put us many laps down. After that we kept up to the leaders for the most part. We ran a decent pace. Everything ran really smoothly and nicely. The Risi-Krohn crew did a good job, as always, with the car and the pit stops. We continued along fine until my double stint in the morning session. I started out in my second stint and was rounding the second chicane on the Mulsanne straight when the engine stumbled. There was smoke out the back and it felt like a fuel pressure problem with no warning. The engine let go. We lost the crank case pressure. Unfortunately we had to retire the car around 6:30 a.m. and park it. It was a good effort by everybody though."
You are now switching back to driving the Grand-Am Prototype car at a very traditional U.S. race course. What are you looking forward to? "Getting back into normal settings here with the full blown Krohn Racing team and the Proto-Auto Lola is what I'm really looking forward to. The Krohn guys have done a fantastic this year with prepping this car and making it faster. Also the Mid-Ohio circuit is a classic sports car track. It is one of the most well known in this country. We are going to keep running for Trueman points this year, which Tracy is currently leading. I think the team is ready for it a good finish this weekend."
Does it always rain at Mid-Ohio? If it does how does your driving change? "It seems like it always rains at Mid-Ohio at some point. Rain or dry it doesn't really make a difference. The crew always gives us a good car. We actually led the race in Mid-Ohio two years ago in rain. And we were leading and won in New Jersey in the rain last year. Tracy did a fantastic job in very wet conditions on slick tires at Watkins Glen earlier this month. He ran very competitive lap times with the leaders. If we have rainy conditions and we have good luck we could be on the podium."
DAVID BROWN, Krohn Racing Team Manager and Engineer:
Mid-Ohio is considered a high-downforce track. What does that mean for the Krohn Racing team? "We have a basic car setup which we can apply for this track. We have some time in practice to assess other test items but we think our baseline is going to be pretty close. We like high downforce tracks; it's usually good for our car."
What is going to be most challenging at Mid-Ohio? "The weather is always a moving target. Often showers appear quickly, so we have to be prepared to duck and weave to get the car right for all conditions. The undulating nature of the track always puts stability and rear tire condition high on the list of priorities. A good balance will yield a good car."
How well does the Mid-Ohio course suit the Krohn Racing car and drivers? "We were fast last year. We came a very close second. This year the competition will be just as tough. We are racing to win and the race will be hard fought with no holds barred."
The EMCO Gears Classic presented by KeyBank race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course will be televised live on SPEED on Saturday, June 19 at 5:00 p.m. ET.