Krohn Racing Victorious at New Jersey Grand-Am Krohn Racing posted their first victory in the Proto-Auto Lola Ford today at the Verizon Wireless 250 at New Jersey Motorsports Park, in Millville, New Jersey. Round 3 on the 2009 Grand-Am Rolex ...
Krohn Racing Victorious at New Jersey Grand-Am
Krohn Racing posted their first victory in the Proto-Auto Lola Ford today at the Verizon Wireless 250 at New Jersey Motorsports Park, in Millville, New Jersey. Round 3 on the 2009 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series schedule was a race filled with rain from start to finish. The treacherous conditions could not stop the No. 76 Krohn Racing Ford Lola of Nic Jonsson and Ricardo Zonta.
The No. 76 entry was clearly the dominant car on the wet 2.25 mile, 14-turn road course. Jonsson, originally from Sweden and now living in Buford, Georgia, took the lead on lap 14 until lap 35 when he turned the car over to Zonta. Coming out of the pit stop in sixth position, Zonta of Curicuba, Brazil, took his time to climb to the top of the leaderboard, capturing the top spot on lap 58. He masterfully pulled away from the struggling field to win with a 44.752 margin of victory in the 87 lap race.
TRACY W. KROHN, Team Owner/Driver Krohn Racing:
"This is a real boost for Krohn Racing. The car's been good. It is certainly a team effort but it takes two really professional caliber drivers to win under these kinds of conditions. Nic and Ricardo did a fantastic job with the car today. The team has done a great job all year, especially today.
I don't know what the time was we had for driver change and fuel but I know it was really quick. I could tell from the television coverage. They got in and out really quick on the pit stop. Ricardo just ate it up. He was very patient with his moves. I don't think the car has a scratch on it. That's a testimony to real professionalism on a day like today. Normally in the rain you're going to get some kind of collateral damage at least. The car looks good. The team looks good. I appreciate everybody's effort. This is a really professional effort from everybody involved. My only regret is that I'm not there. Wish I could have been there racing today because I know the car is going to be good in the rain.
We dropped one car and I stepped out to focus on what I think is the best business opportunities I've ever seen in my lifetime. We needed a little bit of time to take advantage of that."
NIC JONSSON, Driver, No. 76 Krohn Racing Ford Lola:
"We qualified fourth and the guys got the car put together well. We had rain all day but we had a good car in the rain. I got a good start and got up to P3 in Turn 1. A yellow came out right away for a few laps. I took the lead about 15 minutes in to the race (on Lap 14) and stayed out front. There were some cautions periods and it got pretty treacherous out there. When the rain started coming down harder, it started developing puddles on the track. It was a good move on Grand-Am's part for safety to throw the caution when it got so bad out there.
I was in the lead for 22 laps and able to open up a good gap when we went green again. We pitted about an hour and half into the race. Ricardo got in and he knew what he had to do to make up the laps we lost pitting. He got in there and started charging towards the front. He took the lead from (Max) Angelelli about 45 minutes from the end and never looked back from there. He finished with nearly a 45-second lead.
All victories are special. This is particularly special though because I know how much time and effort the team has spent. Ricardo and I have the easy job of driving the car. The guys back at the shop have had a lot of long days. The engineers have done a tremendous job to develop this car to get it to where it is today. Also thanks to Tracy for allowing us to do this. Obviously without his support we wouldn't have been able to do this. It feels very good to win this first one in the Proto-Auto Lola. I'm very emotional. I've been with Tracy for six years and we won the first one for team together in 2005. Now being able to take the first win in the Proto-Auto Lola and I'm still with the team is very emotional for me. I can't express how lucky I feel to be part of the Krohn Racing team. It's been a long time coming so it's very sweet to be on podium!"
RICARDO ZONTA, Driver No. 76 Krohn Racing Ford Lola:
"It was very heavy rain today. Sometimes, especially when following somebody, you couldn't see anything. The team did a perfect job. The only problem we had was that we lost radio communications completely. I could not communicate with the team about race strategy, so I just kept driving.
I am very happy to have my first victory with the Krohn team and first Grand-Am victory. Now we have to keep it like this. It was perfect for the team, perfect for everybody!"
DAVID BROWN, Krohn Racing Team Manager and Engineer:
"It was very exciting race. Conditions were particularly arduous and treacherous today. We are obviously very happy to record our first victory with the Lola. It was also the team's first victory since July 2006, although we've had several podiums since.
I think it's a great tribute to the hard work of the team to field such a dominant car. It feels very good to have this result for all our efforts. I'd like to congratulate everyone on the team for their efforts, including the drivers who did a great job in treacherous conditions. We also had great support from the Roush engine shop.
We had green flag racing for the last 42 laps. That was about an hour of green flag racing, perfect for getting a fast car to the front. The Krohn car was obviously very fast and able to pull from sixth to the lead. It feels a lot better having 'broken that duck' (cricket term referring to a score of zero). We are going out to repeat that success at all the following races this year. It's a shame Tracy wasn't here to be able to witness our first victory after so long."
Krohn Racing's last victory was in July 2006 at Barber Motorsports Park with Colin Braun and Jorg Bergmeister, their third that season. The Krohn Racing team went on to capture the Grand-Am Rolex Daytona Prototype Driver's Championship that year. Nic Jonsson's last Grand-Am DP victory was in 2005, with team owner/driver Tracy W. Krohn, at the Six Hours of the Glen in Watkins Glen, NY, also under rainy conditions.
The next Grand-Am race, Round 4, will be the Verizon Festival of Speed at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, CA on May 15-17, 2009.