Michele Rugolo was the qualifying and starting driver. Tracy handled the second and fourth stint with Rugolo piloting in between. Swede Nic Jönsson took the final double stint duties to bring the Ferrari home in fourth place after completing 165 laps, one lap down from the class winner.
Tracy W. Krohn, Krohn Racing Team Owner/Driver, No. 57 Krohn Racing Ferrari F458 GTE-Am: “In my first stint the car started out very good, very stable. The tires were great and the car felt really good. Going into Turn #3 I got hit by one of the Audis who spun in front of me. I was very fortunate not to take more damage than I had.
There was no place for me to go. In my second stint we decided to go out on used tires to try to double stint the tires, which was probably a good decision. Unfortunately, I got hit early in the stint. Again, it was not anything I could control.
I got driven wide again, maintained a lot of pick-up on the tires and had a lot of oversteer in the car and was just really trying to hang on. I didn’t really have much traction at all and even with traction control it didn’t make much difference.
It’s okay though. As occurs quite a bit when we have incidents happen at the race and we don’t finish the race or things didn’t quite go well for us, I get these little reminders. It’s always the same thing….some person in a wheelchair that’s driving the wheelchair with their tongue or missing body parts or something like that.
Inevitably it happens. It always happens. Here today at the end of the race, one of the marshals out there in the orange suit has one leg and he has to peddle with the other leg just to get around. So, you know, you put thing in perspective and you’ve got no problems. We’re halfway through the season and life is pretty good. I’ve had worse birthday presents than finishing fourth at Silverstone.”
Nic Jonsson, No. 57 Krohn Racing Ferrari F458 GTE-Am: “Unfortunately we had some bad luck there in the middle of the race and actually even in the beginning and we lost a lap early on. When you do that and get behind from the get-go, it’s kind of hard to catch up. I felt pretty good about the car and the last stint.
In my first stint we had a little bit of an imbalance of the tires. We had a very high frequency vibration in the car so it’s hard to see, but we got new left-hand tires on for the last stint so it was actually very balanced. I like the Michelin tires and the Krohn guys did an unbelievable job again preparing the car. It was reliable and mechanically very sound.
I think we ran pretty competitively out there the last hour or so. I feel very confident that we had a good car; good tires and we can be competitive. We just need to have a little bit of luck. We head to Sao Paulo next and hopefully we can have a win down there because we are still waiting for that first win in 2012. It’s coming very soon.”
Michele Rugolo, No. 57 Krohn Racing Ferrari F458 GTE-Am: “I’ll describe the race in three words – car was quick! Like always, we had many contacts with prototypes. Tracy spun two times because of that but even though they penalize the other cars, they don’t give us back our race so this is the result.
We are all really disappointed because when the car is quick and we are performing well, we should be able to achieve the result, but these are races. We are still second in the championship. We are in the exact middle of the season because Le Mans is double points so it’s becoming really difficult.”
David Brown, Krohn Racing Team Manager/Race Engineer: “We were pleased with the performance of the car today. The car was fast. However, we suffered at the hands of the prototype cars three times during the race. Twice Tracy was pushed completely off the track by prototype cars. We incurred some minor damage but we lost a lot of ground recovering from being knocked off the track after being hit. We ended up in fourth position.
Nic did the last two stints very quickly, as Michele had driven earlier in the race – very quickly and consistently, but we weren’t able to make up the deficit that had been handed to us by the incidents.
While we are disappointed to be fourth, and we are disappointed, we know that it is only halfway through the season. We’re looking forward to going to Sao Paulo, and not prevented from demonstrating our performance by impact from prototype cars.”
Jeff Hazell, Krohn Racing Motorsport Manager: “I think for the majority of the race we had perhaps the fastest car out there. We got delayed in a little dice at the start and lost time. After that we ran the same speed as the leaders, if not faster. We were unlucky to get hit by a couple of LMP cars, who were penalized by the Stewards.
This seems to be an ongoing problem with LMP cars trying to drive around the outside of the GT cars at the exit of a corner. We just didn’t have overall enough speed to get on the podium here but we made some good progress with the car. We were very pleased with the Michelin tire performance.
Along with the testing we did earlier, I think we’ve got a real handle on the performance. I think we can put in as good or better performances now at the last four races."
The next round of the 2012 WEC will be the 6 Hours of Sao Paulo, September 15 at the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace (aka Interlagos) in Sao, Paulo, Brazil.
Source: Krohn Racing Team