American Team Wins Intercontinental Le Mans Cup Series GTE AM Class
Sebring, Mar. 20, 2011: Krohn Racing captured the GTE AM Class victory in the inaugural race for the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup Series and the 59th Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida at Sebring International Raceway, March 19th.
The endurance classic race was a battle of attrition. The No. 57 Krohn Racing/NXG Ferrari 430 GT started from the second position in class and either led or was second most of the race. Team owner/driver Tracy W. Krohn started the race and also drove it to the checkered flag with barely a scratch on it. Co-drivers Nic Jönsson and Michele Rugolo drove their fair share, also with near perfect runs. Many teams were assessed penalties for pit lane infractions, but the Krohn team avoided any penalties as they battled the No. 63 Proton Competition Porsche 911 RSR for most of the race for the class lead.
QUOTES: TRACY W. KROHN, Krohn Racing Team Owner/Driver, No. 57 Krohn Racing/NXG Ferrari 430 GT: “First of all, I have to thank our team. In our last 36 hours of racing, between Daytona and this race, we haven’t had a single mechanical issue. We’ve raced trouble-free and never been behind the wall. That’s a tribute to the drivers we have and the team prep. These guys are professionals and they just do it right.
I want to dedicate this win to my friends in Afghanistan right now, the 101st Airborne Company of Lt. Colonel Vincent. You know who you are and where you are. They are moving around every day in dangerous conditions and I think about those guys all the time. We proudly displayed the Cav Club on the Ferrari and we plan to keep it there the whole season. To the 101st Airborne - this one’s for you!
Sebring was the first track I ever drove a performance vehicle on so I’ve been working on this nearly a decade. Nic and I have been driving together for eight years now. This particular track is so difficult. Whenever you finish this race you feel like you’ve been in a really good fight. That’s what it is. It’s a fight. There are a lot of things that happen on this track every single lap here. It’s dirty, there are a lot of cars, there are guys in different classes coming inside of you at the wrong time, and it is bumpy. I am always sore when I’m done. I’m pleased to get through it and it is always extremely difficult on the cars. We basically beat the LMP2 guys solidly. This Ferrari 430 is a well sorted automobile and a great race car.
Today’s victory goes down in the record books for both a victory at the 12 Hours of Sebring and the first ILMC race here. It is always nice to start out with a win. We started out with our movie production company with a win (as an investor in the movie ‘Black Swan’ which has been a box office hit and Oscar winner) and started out with this win so it’s shaping up to be a good year.”
NIC JONSSON, No. 57 Krohn Racing/NXG Ferrari 430 GT: “Firstly, it is fantastic to have a victory as the start of the season. All of the Krohn guys have done a really good job since the beginning of the year. We had a completely flawless race at the 24 Hours of Daytona and now a flawless 12 Hours of Sebring. This is my ninth or tenth attempt to win Sebring. I’ve been twice before and third once and finally to win the 12 Hours of Sebring is one of my dreams. To do that here together with Tracy is just fantastic! I can’t be happier. It’s almost a dream come true.
The guys have done a fantastic job over the winter prepping for the ILMC Series. It’s a solid team. We have a fantastic engineering staff, team management and great crew. They all do flawless work, which is why we’re here. Hopefully we can carry on that way.”
MICHELE RUGOLO, No. 57 Krohn Racing/NXG Ferrari 430 GT: “I drove here at Sebring previously in 2005 with the Viper and I didn’t remember the track at all. I think it is a really difficult track and it took time to get used to it. During the race I had consistent times and did not make any mistakes. The car was also very easy to drive. (Krohn Racing Engineer) David Brown prepared an amazing car. It was very reliable but also easy to drive because this is a very difficult track.
It’s complicated to understand my feelings with this victory right now. Maybe tomorrow I will work on it because Sebring is one of the most important races in the world. It’s just fantastic! Everyone in the team has done their job perfectly. We have all worked in a very coordinated way so this is the most important thing. Now I really want to go to Le Mans.”
DAVID BROWN, Krohn Racing Team Manager/Race Engineer: “We are very pleased to have won our class at the 59th running of the 12 Hours of Sebring. I would like to say the team did an excellent job not incurring any penalties in the pit lane. The drivers did brilliantly driving the car quickly and consistently. We only suffered a bit of damage because somebody drove into us. The team did excellent pit stops. The car was quick enough to win our class and certainly in a tight battle with #63 Porsche until they suffered problems that put them out of the race. At that stage it looked really nip and tuck and that it was going to be a fight to the end, which we were really enjoying. From one pit stop to another we’d swap places.
We have to thank Ferrari, Michelotto and, of course, Dunlop for their solid support throughout. It’s been great to be at a race meeting so well run by IMSA and the ILMC staff and we are looking forward to doing it the rest of the ILMC season.”
Krohn Racing now leads the GTE AM points classification with 15 points to Proton Competition’s 14 points. The next stop on the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup Series is at the Spa-Francorchamps Circuit in Spa, Belgium on May 7.