Circuit de la Sarthe
The No. 57 Krohn Racing Ferrari 430 GTE-AM team of Tracy W. Krohn, Nic Jönsson and Michele Rugolo are confident after practice and qualifying that they have a good race car set-up for the start of the 79th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The twice around-the-clock venture at the world famous Circuit de la Sarthe is an important race for the team. Krohn Racing is competing in the full International Le Mans Cup (ILMC) series for 2011. This race, the third of seven global races, rewards double points in the year-end championship. Krohn Racing, class winners of the 12 Hours of Sebring, are currently second in points in the GTE-AM class and are considered a strong contender for the championship.
Wednesday, June 8th, was the first day on track for the 56 invited competitors. A four hour practice session was followed by two hours of night qualifying practice. The schedule on Thursday, June 9, included four additional hours of qualifying. All three Krohn drivers completed their mandatory night times, as required by the ACO rules. The No. 57 Krohn Racing Ferrari qualified seventh in the GTE-AM class and will start 51st overall.
DAVID BROWN, Krohn Racing Team Manager/Race Engineer:
“We were delayed Wednesday in starting our test program for the race with an engine-related issue, which was solved. However, it put us behind a little bit. We came out of yesterday with still several questions to answer from a performance point of view. For other reasons, not connected with the problems we had Wednesday, we made a late decision to change the engine and fit the race engine for Thursday’s running. And the guys, I have to say, did a magnificent job changing the engine in the time they did it. We got out with a 45 minutes delay Thursday night because of the engine change. The guys have worked tirelessly to get it out as quickly as possible. Then we discovered we had a damper issue, which took us another 20 minutes or so.
Based on the set-up changes we made overnight we managed to finish our test program and come out of practice and qualifying with a car which we believe is a really good race car. The drivers all like it. We think it’s a relatively easy car to drive and sufficient performance to put us at the top of our class. They are really looking forward to getting out there in the race and seeing what can be done.”
TRACY W. KROHN, Krohn Racing Team Owner/Driver, No. 57 Krohn Racing Ferrari 430 GTE-Am:
“Thanks to the team for doing such a god job. We had some major obstacles to overcome. We had issues with an engine control unit and a damper failure. We managed to come up with a set-up that was pretty good at the end and that I think we can race. The crew worked hard to bring it all together so we’re very proud of them for that. As far as the race is concerned, it’s a long race so we’ll see what will happen. I feel pretty good about our chances going in. I like it.”
I think we have achieved that now and we can go into the race confident we have a good car for 24 hours.
NIC JONSSON, No. 57 Krohn Racing Ferrari 430 GTE-Am:
“We had to make some adjustments on Wednesday and do an engine change on Thursday so we did not get as much time in the car as we had all hoped. Tracy and I have both driven here many times and Michele once so we will be fine on the circuit. The important thing was to get the car set up so it’s an easy car to drive for all three of us. I think we have achieved that now and we can go into the race confident we have a good car for 24 hours.”
MICHELE RUGOLO, No. 57 Krohn Racing Ferrari 430 GTE-Am:
“I feel much better after I did three chrono laps in the first session Thursday and a chrono lap on the second and the times were pretty good. We have done many changes in the rear of the car. I think the balance is much better. We used to have a lot of understeering. The car was pushing much less. I think we made the right decision on the engine change. We had a few too many troubles during the past few days so we have been thinking mostly on the race set-up and race pace.”
Krohn and Jönsson have finished on the Le Mans podium two times, 2007 in second place, and 2009 in third place in the GT2 class. In addition to this year’s class victory at the 12 Hours of Sebring, they also have another podium at the Sebring Florida circuit in 2009 in third, all in the reliable and race-proven F430.
-source: krohn racing