Tracy Krohn And Nic Jonsson Go To The Green Hell!
Krohn Racing’s Tracy W. Krohn and Nic Jönsson will compete at the historic Nurburgring Circuit on April 30th in the VLN Series race. The VLN (Veranstaltergemeinschaft Langstreckenpokal Nürburgring) Series is closely associated with Nurburgring and runs touring car racing events. Krohn and Jönsson will be competing in a car run by Team Rosberg, founded by ex-Formula One champion, Keke Rosberg.
The DMV 4-Stunden-Rennen race on April 30th will be one of two planned “qualification” race for the Krohn Racing driving duo in preparation for an expected entry at the 2012 running of the 24 Hours of Nurburgring classic race.
Tracy W. Krohn, Krohn Racing team owner/driver, No. 57 Krohn Racing Ferrari 430 GT: You and Nic are going to be competing at the world famous Nurburgring circuit in early May, please share how this race came together and why you are doing it? “This year we are competing in the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup Series and will be racing on some very famous European race circuits like Le Mans, Spa, Imola, and Silverstone. They are all tracks I have wanted to drive. Nurburgring is another one on my list I would like to drive. We all talked about it and thought this was a great way to learn the track and get qualified to run at the 24 Hours of Nurburgring next year.”
Your goal to run the 24 Hours of Nurburgring in 2012 is quite an amazing goal. Is that a race you have dreamed about doing since you became a race car driver? “It certainly is a very famous race. The ‘Green Hell’, as the track is known, has some very famous turns and has been around since the 1920s. As a driver, who wouldn’t want to compete at Nurburgring?”
Which circuit will you be driving – the GP-Strecke (3.199 mi with 16 turns), the Nordschleife (12.93 mi with 154 turns) or the combined (16.123 mi – 170 turns)? “We’ll get to run the long course. That’s part of the appeal. Sixteen miles and 170 turns! Talk about needing to focus every second of every lap! The challenge is what brings people to Nurburgring. That’s the main reason I want to drive it.”
Nic Jönsson, Krohn Racing driver, No. 57 Krohn Racing Ferrari 430 GT: Have you ever competed at Nurburgring before and if so when and what series? “I never raced on the long track and Nurburgring. I raced several times on the new Grand Prix circuit, both in Formula 3 when I ran back in the 1990s and also in sports cars in early 2000 with the BMW factory team. I’ve never competed on the long circuit. I’ve just been around it for a couple of laps with the master himself, Hans Stuck, in a BMW in 2000.”
What do you know about Team Rosberg? “The team is owned by ex-Formula1 world champion, Keke Rosberg, from Finland. I was a huge fan of his growing up when he ran F1. He’s been running an Audi factory team in DTM for quite some time. They are running a very competitive, first class operation. They are also running a car or two in this Nurburgring VLN Series. We will be competing in one of these cars.”
How are you preparing for this race and to compete at Nurburgring? “The Krohn team has set up coaching for me and Tracy next Tuesday and Wednesday evening with a German driver who has been very successful and had a lot of laps around that track. We plan to do a lead-follow for a couple of hours each evening to learn all the turns. We hope to at least get an understanding for what the track is all about. I think it’s going to be a huge learning curve for both of us. Our goal is to get comfortable with the track so we can run the 24 Hours of Nurburgring in 2012. In order to be allowed to do that you have to do two qualification races prior to the 24 Hours and this is one of those qualification races.”
You won your last two races in class – at the ILMC/ALMS 12 Hours of Sebring and at the Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge in the factory Kia. Are you on a winning streak? “Let’s hope so. Obviously I’ve been very fortunate to drive competitive equipment with very good teams. I’ve been with Krohn Racing and Tracy now since the inaugural year in 2006. We’ve been working together with the same engineering staff, same Crew Chief, same race team, almost all of the same people as when we started. They work hard to get the car where Tracy and I like it so we can be comfortable and successful in our job as drivers.”
Jeff Hazell, Krohn Racing Motorsports Manager: Please share your thoughts on the goals for the VLN race at Nurburgring. ”Our team Doctor Vincenzo Tota was instrumental in making these arrangements; I think it may be like putting mice into a maze! This is going to mentally challenge our drivers racing with lots of competitors while still trying to remember which way the next corner goes. Nic has front wheel drive touring car experience but Tracy has that driving technique to master. I know Peter Reinish and his crew at Team Rosberg will provide all the resource to assist our drivers and I am particularly looking forward to the post event debrief.”