Krohn Racing - 2011 Rolex 24 At Daytona Post Race Report - 24 Hour/Finish
The 49th running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona race featured four cars on the lead lap and two cars just one lap down. The No. 76 Krohn Racing Ford Proto-Auto Lola finished sixth, just one lap away, with a total of 720 laps. Ricardo Zonta both started and finished the twice-around-the-clock endurance race for the Krohn team and led two laps, Lap 251 and Lap 522. Other drivers of the No. 76 entry included team owner/driver Tracy W. Krohn, Nic Jönsson and Ricardo Zonta.
This year’s historic 24-hour race featured 23 cautions for 141 laps and was highlighted with 52 car lead changes among 53 different drivers. Fog settled in during the Sunday morning hours of approximately 5:30 a.m.-8:00 a.m. ET and kept the competitors pacing under yellow flag conditions for 56 laps.
The Krohn Racing team hung onto the lead lap for about 20 of the 24 hours. The strategy was basic enough – to simply stay on the lead lap.
The 2011 running of the Rolex 24 race was won by the No. 01 Chip Ganassi BMW Riley of Scot Pruett, Memo Rojas, Graham Rahal and Joey Hand. The team covered 721 laps and 2,566.76 miles.
Tracy Krohn, Driver, owner/driver, No. 76 Krohn Racing Ford Proto-Auto Lola: “I never doubted we’d have a 24-hour race where we didn’t have to do something to the car. We didn’t do a damn thing to it the whole time. It was unbelievable. The team was incredible. The car just wasn’t quick enough. That was all there was to it. Motor was good, transmission was good. We just didn’t have the right set-up for this track. Everybody else was faster. All the drivers did a great job. Nobody had a misstep. Everyone did great.”
Regarding having Ricardo back to co-drive at Daytona another year: “It is always a pleasure to work with a driver who is blindingly fast, always gives 110 % and works with a smile. Add to the fact that we tend to strive for continuity, almost above all else. It was not a difficult decision to pick up the phone and call Ricardo. We were also pleased to have Nicolas Minassian join us this year. He fit right in and did a great job.”
Nicolas Minassian, Driver, No. 76 Krohn Racing Ford Proto-Auto Lola: “It was an absolute pleasure to work with the Krohn Racing team. I think they are a top team. Every single person that works on this team – from mechanics to tire guys, refueling, engineer, strategist, everybody works well. You’ve got a good feeling because everybody is happy doing their job. Everybody is doing his job their best. There is nothing to fault. I think we did the race as fast as we could have done, so that is satisfaction somewhere.
“You are always somewhat disappointed because you want to win. I think it is a problem if you don’t always want to win. It gives you, you know, wings. We did as well as we could have done and the strategy was probably one of the best in the world. Regarding pit stops, there was nothing to say. The car was prepared perfectly because we had no problems. We’re probably the only one to have no problems.”
Nic Jönsson, Driver, #76 Krohn Racing Ford Proto-Auto Lola: “The Krohn crew did a fantastic job, not just preparing the car but it was a flawless race. We just had scheduled pit stops. There were no problems with the car. Everything ran perfect. That’s a testament to the fact we have a fantastic team behind us.
Over the course of the season and the variety of tracks Grand-Am visits, the car can collect many points but it’s much more at home on the road courses than the superspeedways.
Today the car was just not fast enough. Otherwise, all the drivers did a good job. The crew did a fantastic job. The Ford motor performed excellent. No complaints. We just didn’t have the pace in the car. What can I say? It’s still good to finish a 24-hour race. The result was not what we wanted and that’s a little disappointing but, hey, the car is still in one piece. We’ll have to try to come back next year and do better.”
Ricardo Zonta, Driver, #76 Krohn Racing Ford Proto-Auto Lola: “It was disappointing to not win this race because we had a great race. The car was very good. The pit stops were very good, as was the race strategy. We had no problems this year like we did in past years at this race and yet we finished sixth place. This is difficult to accept. We just didn’t have a strong enough car for the competition today. I want to thank Tracy for inviting me back to race with the Krohn team again. I also want to thank all the mechanics and team members for their excellent and hard work this year at Daytona.”
Rick Mayer, Race Engineer on the #76 Krohn Racing Ford Proto-Auto Lola: “We just didn’t have the car today. We had good drivers; we had awesome pit stop; we gained many, many positions in the pits all day. The crew did an awesome job. The prep of the car was flawless. Fuel, oil, tires, drivers, transmission…we had nothing else unscheduled in the pits at all the whole time.
We gained positions in the pits on every stop. It was awesome. We were just off the pace for whatever reason. We couldn’t get the car to handle properly. We were three-quarters to a second off the pace we needed to be on. Everybody tried really hard to push harder. It’s a shame and you can tell the tough competition when you finish a 24-hour race without any issues and still finish sixth.
Tracy did an awesome job. He had no miscues in the race at all. His lap times were fine and we were able to get our laps back when we had issues. We stayed on the lead lap up until the end. Even the weather was awesome. I was more than pleased to be able to stand in for David Brown while he deals with the birth of his new twins. It was a great team to work with and very professional.”