ILMC Team News - American Ferrari Team Finishes 9th In Intercontinental Le Mans Cup Series
Spa, May 8, 2011: Krohn Racing competed at Spa-Francorchamps for the second round of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup Series at the 100km of Spa race this week.
Team owner/driver Tracy W. Krohn and co-driver Nic Jönsson had to learn the 7KM circuit as quickly as they could with minimal track time prior to race start. They continued to improve on their track times well into the race and were improving before an on-track incident hindered a podium finish in the GTE-Am class.
QUOTES: TRACY W. KROHN, Krohn Racing Team Owner/Driver, No. 57 Krohn Racing/NXG Ferrari 430 GT: Regarding his stint and on-track incident: “The car was quite good. In fact, I thought it was the best it had been the whole weekend. We got the right tire combination on the car. It was really quite fun. The car was doing what I asked it to do. There was a lot of traffic. It seemed like every lap at the critical point where you need to increase speed you’ve got to cut back so you’re not in anybody’s way. Truth is the car was quite good after the incident.
Concerning the incident, I’m not sure who it was. I couldn’t tell. I was coming into Turn 1. I had already turned in and the guy just hit me straight-on in the left front tire. I had nowhere to go. It cut the tire. I never saw him coming and had already committed. He just used me for a brake. It’s probably the worst place to get hit.
Regarding his experience of coming to race at Spa for the first time: ”This is a great part of the world. The weather was ideal, perfect! Everybody lied about it and said it was going to be raining and cold and actually it was sunny and warm and perfect. The Belgians were delightful. The track was everything that everybody said about it. It was fast; it had a rhythm to it; it’s very technical. It’s quite a wild ride out there because everyone is going so fast. Any mistake you make is amplified. I have to say that the car was good, the team was good. We just had an unfortunate incident with a DP car who used me as a brake. Other than that, it was a great week.
Regarding competing at Nurburgring the week before: “Nurburgring was a great week before that. We had a great time. We learned the track somewhat. We got a total of about 20-something laps before the race and I’m not sure how many during the race. It was not many, not enough. We’ll do a couple of more races there and that will be a lot more fun. They were two very different parts of the world for racing and very different extremes.
Nurburgring has 170 turns versus 19 turns at Spa. There are lots of high speed turns at Spa and great crowds. The Belgians certainly like motorsports, have a lot of enthusiasm and this was for a six hour race. Hopefully one day we’ll come back and do the 24 Hour race of Spa.
NIC JONSSON, No. 57 Krohn Racing/NXG Ferrari 430 GT: Regarding his first stint during the race: “The first stint was a real struggle. The car was really loose on me as soon I turned in so I couldn’t attack the corner at all. We ran 28’s (2:28 laps). It was a real struggle. At the next pit stop we made an adjustment that made a huge difference. We picked up a couple of seconds and were able to run 26’s and were more competitive. After the struggle the first stint I think we got back to where we needed to be in the Top 4 and now running consistently. Hopefully Tracy can do the same as he did in the first stint here for the next hour and a half. Then I can get in and finish this off and hopefully we can contend for a podium today.
Regarding the entire experience of competing at Spa: “It was pretty difficult coming to Spa without having any proper testing other than a few laps on Monday in a street car. But then we had two practice sessions that were red flagged nearly half the session so we didn’t get even 10 laps before the race. Therefore we had to get up to speed during the race, which I think we did pretty well, both Tracy and I. We got up to speed about halfway through our first stint and drove competitively and up to fourth place. Unfortunately Tracy got “T-boned” by a prototype. They are so aggressive. It really ended our race. We fell six laps behind before we came into the pits. What do you do? Unfortunately it’s not what we deserve and hoped for but I think we’re still in second place. We have to go into Le Mans and really focus on that and try to win and get more points.”
DAVID BROWN, Krohn Racing Team Manager/Race Engineer: “Spa was a new venue for us and we really enjoyed the competition and the track particularly. We would have appreciated more practice time with such a long lap and so many interruptions. The race was going pretty well to plan up until the point there was contact between Tracy and what we assume was probably a P1 car in La Source Hairpin that resulted in a right front puncture. Unfortunately because the puncture came only 5% into the lap, Tracy had to do the remainder of the lap very slowly to avoid doing a lot of further damage to the car. It cost us about six laps doing the repair and Tracy coming back to the pits. From then on we were stuck because we were two laps behind the car in front of us and at least two laps ahead of the car behind us. We drove around and took the opportunity to do some tire testing. We look forward very much to going to Le Mans.”
Krohn Racing now sits second in the GTE-Am points classification with 21 points to leader Proton Competition’s 24 points. AF Corse is third with 14 points.