Krohn Racing Friday Qualifying Notes - Sebring
Nic Jönsson qualified the No. 57 Krohn Racing Ferrari 430 GT in the second position in the GTE Am class for Saturday’s 59th Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida race. His overall starting position is 36th of 56 cars for the once-around-the-clock historic enduro on the 3.7-mile world famous road racing circuit. Joining Jonsson in the cockpit is team owner/driver Tracy W. Krohn and Italian Michele Rugolo.
TRACY W. KROHN, Krohn Racing Team Owner/Driver, No. 57 Krohn Racing Ferrari 430 GTE Am:
What will you be watching out for during the race?
“The most important thing out there is to not get hit. You have got to finish! There are a lot of cars out on track and a lot of traffic. And there are a lot of GT cars – nearly 35 GT cars, I think. That’s the first thing – don’t get hit, stay on the track. If we do that, that’s about 95 percent of it. The rest of it is making sure the car finishes the race and that we don’t have any mechanical errors. That’s up to the team and I believe they’ll get that job done. The rest of it is just transportation.”
Share with us what you feel the atmosphere has been like this year leading up to the 12 Hours of Sebring event this year.
“I think this is my seventh year here at Sebring and this is the biggest crowd I’ve ever seen, certainly the most enthusiastic and the biggest field I’ve seen here. I’m looking for a really great race. I think this is going to be a lot of fun. The GT cars are the vast majority of the cars here and it’s where the real race is going to be. The higher-end LMP cars are fun to watch but GT is where the toughest part of the race is going to be, I think.”
NIC JONSSON, No. 57 Krohn Racing Ferrari 430 GTE Am:
Share with us your thoughts about how the week has been going for the Krohn Racing team and how your qualifying session went:
“It’s great to get the 2011 season kicked off in the ILMC. For the first qualifying session we qualified P2 in our class, which is okay, but I’m not 100% pleased with it. I would like to be up front. I think we have the potential of that with the car and the team we have behind us. Unfortunately, we have run into a few issues over the past few days with our new car and we haven’t really gotten many laps on the track. We have been working on the set-up and David (Brown – Team Engineer) did a really good job to get the car back to almost where we were with the car in practice on Monday. I think we’re heading in the right direction and I think we’re going to have a very good, solid race car going in to the race tomorrow. We’ll just go out there and keep it clean, be consistent and hopefully we can have a good run and a successful day for the first race of the season.”
What do you feel you’ll need to watch out for in tomorrow’s race?
“The main thing to watch for in the race tomorrow is to stay out of the pits and stay clean, not have any issues, don’t go off the track, don’t have contact with anyone and also to be physically conditioned for these weather conditions. It’s going to be extremely hot tomorrow. It’s going to be important to condition yourself and not run yourself out of steam in the first stint when we double stint our driving. I think that’s going to play a big role here this year with the competition and also the weather. It’s going to be very important to stay conditioned in the car. It’s going to have a big, big effect on the end result tomorrow night, I think.
MICHELE RUGOLO, No. 57 Krohn Racing Ferrari 430 GTE Am:
Share with us about your driving experience this week in the car.
“I didn’t remember the track as it is. It’s really, really bumpy and difficult. You have to absolutely do the right line, otherwise if you put the tires even 30 centimeter in the wrong place with all the bumps, you find the car in the completely wrong place. I only drove about six or seven laps on Monday. Then I jumped in the car for the second time on Thursday because of many, many red flags. For me, it is difficult for me to find the consistency. Actually, I am still working to find the right lines on some corners. For the race though, it will be okay because I am following the other cars. When you watch where the others put their tires it is much easier. You have more reference points.
The car is not really, really quick at the moment but we are doing this kind of set up because we want the car as reliable as possible and softer with the balance. Also, we are not being aggressive at all on the tire so we can be consistent during the race. The car is easy to drive and pretty safe. The rear is really stable. I think this is going to help also for the race because in this kind of race it is easy to make mistakes because of the heat and the traffic. If the car is unstable in the rear it is much easier to make mistakes.
How has your first experience with the Krohn Racing team been?
“This is my first experience with the Krohn team. I had another experience with an American team in the past but my experiences are completely different because the Krohn team is really organized. You can see that there are many people coming from Formula One. With David Brown, you see a very nice approach in the technical decisions. I really would like to be faster than I am at the moment to give them more support for showing them a set-up point-of-view. I think the other races will be easier. I just need to keep some confidence with the car with this kind of a set-up. When we will be in Europe with different race tracks, it will be much easier for me. However, it has been a nice experience with Krohn Racing this week. Everyone is very helpful and technically prepared so it has been a pleasure to work with them.”
DAVID BROWN, Krohn Racing Team Manager/Race Engineer:
Tell us about the qualifying session.
“We actually used qualifying as part of our race preparation because we felt we were behind in the amount of mileage we were able to do to work on the performance of the car. So while we were trying to be as quick as possible obviously, because it’s qualifying, we didn’t qualify on a new set of tires and the set-up was very much biased towards a potential race set-up rather than just an out-and-out qualifying set-up. Nic caught traffic on his last lap. He might not have been as quick as (Richard) Leitz in the Porsche, but he would have been a lot quicker. It doesn’t really matter with qualifying for a 12 hour race. We were a little bit disappointed because we always like to be fastest in whatever we do, but in a few hours time it won’t matter to anybody”
Sebring marks the first race of the 2011 Intercontinental Le Mans Cup Series (ILMC), a new global championship that runs its two U.S. races in conjunction with the American Le Mans Series (ALMS). Krohn and Jönsson have a third-place finish in the GT2 class in the 2008 12 Hours of Sebring race with co-driver Eric van de Poele.