Krohn Racing Announces Driver Line-up for 2011 Rolex 24 At Daytona
Daytona, Dec. 11, 2010: The Rolex 24 At Daytona kicks off the first Grand-Am race of the season for Krohn Racing. Always a race filled with tough competition, each team must prove their ability to survive during the twice-around-the-clock historical enduro.
Krohn Racing will compete in the 49th running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona on January 29-30 with a stellar line-up of drivers. Along with team owner/driver Tracy W. Krohn, long-time Krohn teammate Nic Jönsson will return. Also returning is former Formula 1 pilot Ricardo Zonta. Rounding out the driver line-up will be endurance sports car driver Nicolas Manissian, who will be competing in his first Rolex 24 At Daytona race. Manissian is a Peugeot factory works driver, former F1 test driver and F3000 competitor in Europe.
This year’s race will be Krohn Racing’s sixth consecutive Rolex 24 and the third consecutive in the Ford-powered Proto-Auto Lola.
DRIVER QUOTES: TRACY W. KROHN, Team Owner/Driver No. 75 Krohn Racing Ford Proto-Auto Lola: Krohn Racing is headed back to the Rolex 24 at Daytona for the sixth year. Why is Daytona such an important race to you and Krohn Racing? “It will be good to get back to Daytona. It is the start of the race season for everyone. We will be glad to be there with a good team and good line-up of drivers.”
You have another talented line-up of drivers for the Rolex 24 including yourself, Nic Jönsson, Ricardo Zonta and a newcomer to the team, Nicolas Manissian. Please share your thoughts about your 2011 co-drivers for Daytona. “We have an even stronger line-up than we have had in the past. There is a wealth of knowledge of the car. We tried to pick a driver group that had no egos involved. We all just want to go win the thing.”
What do you expect the competition to be like for the 2011 running of the Rolex 24? “I have not seen an entry list but imagine Ganassi will be there. We expect them to be the team to beat. We plan to go out there to win. The podium is not the goal. The top step of the podium alone is the goal.”
What is the most important factor in a 24-hour race like Daytona? “Patience, perseverance and consistency are the most important. These all bring speed. We have a fast car and a great team. If you don’t get to the end of the races, you can’t win.”
NIC JONSSON, Driver, No. 75 Krohn Racing Ford Proto-Auto Lola: Ricardo Zonta will be joining you again for Daytona, along with another new co-driver. Please share your thoughts? “I’m extremely excited to have Ricardo back since we have had a lot of success together the last few years.. We like the same type of set-up on the car and complement each other really well, along with having fun away from the track as well. He is obviously a world-class driver and one of the fastest drivers in sports car racing today. I’ve never worked with Nicolas Manissian before but his CV pretty much speaks for itself. Being a Peugeot works driver with many other world-class achievements to his name tells you that he will get in the car and be up to speed very quickly. I also trust David Brown, our Engineer, who has worked with Nicolas in F3000 with success in the past. To have Ricardo and Nicolas in the car, along with Tracy and me, make our driver line-up look very strong and as good as we ever had in the past. So I can’t wait to get to Daytona to see Ricardo again but also start to work with Nicolas and prepared ourselves for a great Rolex 24 in Daytona.”
What do you think the competition will be like for this year’s Rolex 24? “The competition I’m sure is going to be even more competitive and fierce than in the past. You will have more teams with stronger driver line-ups than in the past and a more equal spread between the top teams with different power plants than before. The last few years you have had a couple of teams be the only ones running a specific power plant, but now there will be several good teams running with the different engines and this will make those manufacturers stronger than when they had one team to support.”
RICARDO ZONTA, Driver, No. 75 Krohn Racing Ford Proto-Auto Lola: Please share your thoughts on returning to Krohn Racing for the 2011 running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona. “I am happy to be returning to the Krohn Racing team for the Rolex 24 race. It will be my fourth 24-hour race at Daytona with Tracy, Nic and the team. It will also be nice to work with Nicolas. David Brown and the guys prepare a good car, the team works together well and I am looking forward to racing again with everyone. We would like this to be our year to win.”
NICOLAS MANISSIAN, Driver, No. 75 Krohn Racing Ford Proto-Auto Lola: Please share your thoughts on joining the Krohn Racing team for the Rolex 24 At Daytona race. “This will be my first time competing with Krohn Racing, but I have worked with David Brown in F3000. Although I have raced in the 24 Hours of LeMans many times, this will be my first time at Daytona. The Krohn Racing team is a top team in the Series and I am very happy to have this opportunity to compete with Tracy, Nic and Ricardo in the historic Daytona race.”
DAVID BROWN, Krohn Racing Team Manager and Engineer: Krohn Racing is headed back to the Rolex 24 for the sixth year. How do the prospects look? “We are really looking forward to Daytona in 2011. Our car works well for the 24-hour race. We have a great driver line-up and the team really enjoys the preparation and the execution of this event. It is truly a great event. The level of competition and the endurance aspect mingled with the intensity of the race makes for an action packed 24 hours, which we revel in.”
Talk a little about the driver line-up, including the newcomer to the team – Nicolas Manissian. “We have a great driver line-up again. Partnering Tracy will be Nic, who has been a mainstay of the team for years now. He brings a wealth of experience and talent as a driver and as a team member. Ricardo has driven for us at three previous Daytona’s as well as the full 2009 season. He is fast and talented, a great asset to the team. Nicolas is new to us this year. He has a great record in single-seater and endurance racing and we look forward to welcoming him into the team at the January test. We expect a great deal from our drivers and I know they are keen have a great race.”
What do you expect the competition to be like for the 2011 running of the Rolex 24? “It’s a very tough event. The competition grows closer and stronger each year. We expect to be competing with many competitive and well-prepared teams.”
What is the most important factor in a 24-hour race like Daytona? “You have to stay out of the pits except for routine servicing. That’s the crucial point. Reliability, maturity, patience and fortitude from the drivers and the crew are what is required. The car has to work faultlessly and all its systems need to be reliable.”