Krohn Racing Team Prepares to Participate in Daytona Test Days
The two-car Krohn Racing Daytona Prototype team will utilize the opportunity to test this week in the annual Daytona Test Days on January 4-6, 2007 at Daytona International Speedway. Test days are scheduled for January 27-28, 2007 as preparation for Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series 45th Annual Rolex 24 At Daytona race.
After winning the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona Prototype Driver‚€™s Championship last year and finishing second in the Team Championship, the Krohn Racing team will be watched closely by the other competitors. The impressive driver line-up includes team owner/driver Tracy Krohn and Nic J√∂nsson in the No. 75 entry. Rolex 24 teammate Boris Said will not be at the test due a previous obligation. Driving the No. 76 Krohn entry will be the sensational young Colin Braun, former Grand-Am Driver Champion Max Papis and endurance hotshoe JJ Lehto.
Tracy Krohn: Regarding the Krohn Racing drivers for 2007: ‚€œWe have drivers on this team that know how to win and do not have to prove they can. This makes it easy to manage because everyone wants to win and has the patience to do so. My co-driver, Nic J√∂nsson, is as quick as or quicker than anyone out there, but doesn‚€™t feel as though he has to put the car at risk to prove it. Max Papis is the same way and again has nothing to prove. Colin, although young enough to be my grandson, is also a champion and probably would have shared the driver championship last year had it not been for the unfortunate requirements that prevented him from contesting three events. Having said that, he has a maturity about him that cannot be denied. JJ Lehto has also won championships in many different formats, and like our other drivers, has nothing to prove. Although I had only met him once before, I was immediately impressed by his quiet confidence and demeanor. He is yet another world-class driver that will enhance this team in its quest for another championship.‚€???
Regarding Krohn Racing‚€™s success in its first year with winning the 2006 Rolex DP Driver‚€™s Championship with J√∂rg Bergmeister and being second in the Rolex DP Team Championship, all with a newly organized team: ‚€œWhen you surround yourself with good people who work hard, good things happen. No secret to that! This team is also blessed with what I can only describe as ‚€˜humility‚€™ in its team members. That should not be confused with anything less than an absolute burning desire to win, but I think it is in context with the phraseology of ‚€˜Work Hard, Be Nice‚€™.‚€???
Colin Braun: Regarding his new 2007 teammate of Max Papis, and 24 Hour teammate JJ Lehto: ‚€œI think Max is going to be a great co-driver. He brings a lot of experience to the whole team, which is great for me and great for the team. I‚€™ll learn a lot from him. I think it will raise the level of the team having him with us. I think teaming with JJ for the 24 Hours is a smart addition. He has lots of experience in F1 and sports cars. I think Max, JJ & I will be quite a good combination.‚€???
Regarding his goals for 2007 with the Krohn Racing team: ‚€œI‚€™d like to qualify on every pole and win every race. That would undoubtedly win the championship for us. I think that will be the goal for Max and I. It would be pretty amazing if we did that. We want to have strong finishes each race and try not to finish out of the Top Five. It worked out well for us last year with consistent finishes and I hope it will work out good this year as well.‚€???
Nic J√∂nsson: Regarding the difficult challenge of Grand-Am DP competition in 2007: ‚€œI think that the Series itself -- with the driver line-ups, the professional teams ‚€“ is getting difficult. There‚€™s stiff competition. Grand-Am made some rule changes for 2007. You see quite a mix of drivers and teams this year. Many teams have been spending lots of time and money on traction control. Teams that had the advantage last year have to start over. It‚€™s down to drivers having to save cars, get longevity, save tires. We don‚€™t have the device (traction control) anymore. Drivers have to feel in their right foot again. Our team hasn‚€™t been one of the top teams in traction development. I think it is going to work in our favor.‚€???
Regarding his thoughts on the Pontiac Riley combination for the Krohn team for 2007: ‚€œWe made the choice to go with Ford last year. They came on strongest in 2005 and the start of 2006. Pontiac went back and worked really hard on horsepower and drivability. They came back with strongest commitment. Pontiac knows what has to be done to run up front.‚€???
Max Papis: Regarding being a full-time driver with Krohn Racing and co-driving with Colin Braun: ‚€œI‚€™m real excited to be with Tracy Krohn again. I was there at his debut a few years ago ‚€“ his first time in a prototype. I‚€™ve been with the team on and off the last few years. I want to maximize this opportunity this year because, as a former champion, I want to be racing with the right team. With Krohn Racing, I have the opportunity to do that and the opportunity to come back and win, hopefully even another championship. I think Colin has shown he has great potential and has the ability to achieve great goals. I see a lot of will in Colin, just like me. I think the combo of the two of us will be excellent. We will do what it takes to make the combination successful.‚€???
Regarding the knowledge and experience you bring to the team, having been a former Grand-Am Driver Champion and Rolex 24 winner: ‚€œI think to win a Grand-Am championship; it‚€™s a fine balance between being aggressive and being patient when it‚€™s necessary. Of course, we‚€™re not going to be passive. We‚€™ll be charging hard to prove we can be up there. We‚€™ll see how things unfold. I have had great commitment to this race.I rode over 1,000 km on my bike while I was in Italy the last month to be in shape. That‚€™s over 620 miles -- to be in the best shape of my life. I‚€™m going to bring commitment and be a piece of the puzzle that Tracy, and everyone at Krohn Racing, is trying to build.‚€???
JJ Lehto: Regarding being a multi-time Le Mans 24 Hour winner, but never winning or even competing at Daytona: ‚€œDaytona is the last big sports car race I‚€™ve never done. I‚€™ve done all the other big ones in the past and been successful, but never had a chance to race Daytona. When I got the phone call, I didn‚€™t have much time to think about it. I‚€™d been home for 12 months and wasn‚€™t racing, so I thought it was a good time to do it. It‚€™s a good team, a good car and I believe we can do well and be successful.‚€???
Regarding joining the Krohn Racing team for the first time, but having worked with Jeff Hazell and some of the team members previously with Cadillac Racing: ‚€œIt‚€™s nice because we got to know each together well in 2002 with the Cadillac program. It makes the return easier, especially with David Brown, the engineer. He plays a key role. He‚€™s very good and we did a lot together on the previous program. I know him very well. That makes it much easier with coming to a new team.‚€???
Boris Said: Regarding the difficult challenge of Grand-Am DP competition in 2007: ‚€œI think the last two years the Daytona 24 Hour race has had an unbelievable field. Never has there been a field of drivers from every realm of racing. At no other racing venue do you see NASCAR, sports car, Indy car and former F1 stars. It‚€™s pretty amazing. I did the first Grand-Am 24 Hour race many years ago. There were only five cars and people sort of made fun of it. I applaud what NASCAR and Grand-Am have done to build the series. They had a vision and now it‚€™s starting to grow.‚€???
Regarding Krohn Racing‚€™s success in its first season last year: ‚€œI think Tracy Krohn put the right people together. There‚€™s a lot of synergy. Everyone gets along well and work together well. It‚€™s not only money that makes a team work, but getting the right people working together. Now that I own my own NASCAR team, I recognize that it takes a lot more than money to build a winning team. Krohn Racing really has top-notch people, from top to bottom. The driver is a small part of the 24-hour equation. It starts from the people making travel, to the guys mounting tires, and every person in between that make a difference. It‚€™s nice to be part of a team that‚€™s that good.‚€???
Jeff Hazell, Team Manager: Regarding going into season two for the Krohn Racing team: ‚€œThis will be a new year for Grand-Am. Removing traction control is a positive step, driving skills will be sharpened and the spectacle will improve. There are strong teams out there to make us work hard to stay up front, but we are committed to constant improvement and we intend to succeed.‚€???
Regarding the impressive driver line-up in both Krohn Racing cars: ‚€œTracy and I feel we‚€™ve put together a nice driver line-up for Daytona. Tracy, Nic and Boris have all worked together and do so quite well. That‚€™s a good trio. Colin, Max and JJ will also be good together. They all bring strong driving to the table for the 24 Hours. We‚€™ve developed the cars this winter, David Brown has come on board to head up the engineering and we expect to find more speed under his guidance.‚€???
The current entry list for the test features a total of 67 cars: 28 Daytona Prototypes and 39 GTs. The 45th Annual Rolex 24 At Daytona is scheduled for January 25-28, 2007 at Daytona International Speedway. For more information, please see www.krohnracing.net and www.grand-am.com.