Tracy Krohn's Le Mans reflections "The idea was raised via Vincenzo Tota, Jeff Hazell, Jorg and Nic. Jorg was driving for Peterson/White Lightning and it came up that there was a car available for Le Mans. I thought long and hard for maybe three...
Tracy Krohn's Le Mans reflections
"The idea was raised via Vincenzo Tota, Jeff Hazell, Jorg and Nic. Jorg was driving for Peterson/White Lightning and it came up that there was a car available for Le Mans. I thought long and hard for maybe three or four seconds and the answer was yes.
"The timing seemed to work right because I didn't want to interfere with the series that we're in so there was the issue of the making the test given that we had the race at Watkins Glen on the Saturday. We solved that by taking a private jet and flying through the night and made the afternoon session so that we could qualify. I got maybe 12 or 13 laps total which certainly wasn't enough to learn the course.
"The next time that I got in the car was in the wet. Still not knowing the track at night in really bad rain to get in the night qualifying laps was a very daunting experience. That was a real challenge. Not just for me but for some really good drivers -- I mean really great guys like Max Papis and Andy Wallace that told me they had problems with it too. The good news was that was the hardest it got.
"Then it was really getting to know the track in the dry and in light -- and then learning in the dark and finding that I could get as good a pace at night as in the day. All the time I was building my confidence. The first few laps in the race were simply amazing -- taking it all in and feel comfortable with the track. And the rest of it was gaining the experience to find the times. I made a couple of mistakes and had a couple of spins but on the other hand I didn't hit anything. With more time on the track I'm sure my times would be matching some of the times up there now.
"Coming to Le Mans has been a bit like being a golfer and going to St. Andrews. It's like getting on that course for the first time and realising that it's a difficult golf course that's been there for 600 years. Being broken into components it's quite simplistic but as a whole and at speed it's daunting with everything happening so fast and brake points can be missed so easily and then you're into a wall or into someone else. There's just no margin for error. Now I think about it, the more I drove it the more I appreciated it. I was thrilled by all of the support and enthusiasm and tradition surrounding the event -- it's been awesome.
"The highpoint for me was definitely the first stint in the car. On one hand I was trying not to lose focus but on the other hand I could help but think 'Hell -- I'm at Le Mans!'. I'm coming back -- repeatedly.
"The team performed extremely well. The crew members did a fantastic job -- we had great pit stops -- these guys are champions. They've all been here before -- Nic and I were the newcomers. I have high praise for the team and my team-mates. Jorg had an unfortunate incident. Nic was practically flawless.
"Next time I'll know how to manage my time more efficiently. I now have a blueprint of the track in my mind -- including bumps and grip levels and visual markers. I think the more laps you have of a track is the formula for certainty. So those times will continue to get better.
"It's been beyond all reasonable expectation -- I had in my mind what the track would be like, what the crowd would be like but it's been truly different. I didn't appreciate the speed difference between P1 and GT2. Another thing was the level of professionalism on the track . The level of respect from all the drivers has been quite remarkable.
"The way you win is you persevere -- and that's the way we'll win here. We'll come back here --and one day we'll win."