The Krohn Racing two-car team captured a fifth and eleventh place finish in Saturday’s Armed Forces 250 race at Infineon Raceway Sears Point. It was Round 12 of 14 on the 2008 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series and a Prototype only format event of 102 laps. Nic Jönsson and Ricardo Zonta finished fifth and had to move up from 17th, after starting their No. 76 Krohn Racing Pontiac Lola from the last place on the grid when their qualifying time was disallowed by officials when the car was declared too low. It was their fifth Top Five finish of the season, including two podium placements. Tracy Krohn and Eric van de Poele drove their No. 75 Krohn Racing Pontiac Lola to an 11th place finish, starting from 14th on the grid.
The No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Dallara of Max Angelelli and Michael Valiante was a new Grand-Am winner this year in today’s race which only saw one caution period.
Tracy W. Krohn, team owner/driver, No. 75 Krohn Racing Pontiac Lola:
“We got a pretty good result out of our car with 11th. It was unfortunate that Eric got hit from behind towards the end of the race by the Ruby Tuesday car. I know Joey (Hand) is a better driver than that, but stuff happens on the race track. We finished maybe one position less than we should have but all-in-all we got the most out of the car that we could get today.
The car was a little bit shaky on the start to drive. It took a little while longer to come in than I thought. After that we did okay. I got pushed around a little bit at Turn 7 and that cost us quite a bit on the track.
The 76 car did a great job finishing fifth. They had to conserve fuel the whole race and ran it accordingly and still got a Top 5 finish out of it. I thought they did very, very well. Nic and Ricardo both drove very well. I think it was difficult to get around the Porsches. They are a little bit lighter by about 75 pounds or so and it’s pretty hard to get around them. They’ve got quality drivers too. It’s fun! It’s fun to watch!”
Eric van de Poele, driver, No. 75 Krohn Racing Pontiac Lola:
“The car was pretty good and a very good set-up so thanks to the crew for that. It’s always very important. Right at the beginning of my stint we decided to start with scrubbed tires, which was a good choice. Afterwards the car was oversteering, but I could manage the car consistently. It got worse and worse. I just kept my position and tried to pass a few cars under braking, which was quite good. Unfortunately during my fight to get tenth position, a car pushed me off and I spun, so I lost a few seconds and I couldn’t come back from it before the end of the race for tenth position.”
Nic Jönsson, driver, No. 76 Krohn Racing Pontiac Lola:
“We had a very good car this weekend and qualified up in fourth place. Unfortunately we got DQ’d (disqualified) because the car was twenty- thousandths of an inch too low, which is almost impossible to really measure. But we had to start from the back. We had good strategy from the guys. The car was pretty good. We had to work a little with the sway bars because the car was a little loose in the middle of my stint. We brought it up from starting 17th to fourth during my stint. Ricardo did a very good job maintaining in the top Five. It was a good result for the Proto-Auto Lola. We just have to keep working at it. I think the car is coming along better and better. Hopefully in the next couple of races we can get the win this year. It would be very rewarding for all the guys that have been working so hard. If not, we have to keep our head down and keep working hard and come back next year and run for the championship.”
Ricardo Zonta, driver, No. 76 Krohn Racing Pontiac Lola:
“We had an unlucky qualifying and had to start from last place. All the strategy was to try to get back on position. It’s hard to overtake here at the Sonoma track because there are no straights. We had some problems with the rear tires also for a few laps and the car was very undriveable, but then the grip came back. It was difficult to overtake the other cars. The lap times we very close. I think fifth position was good for the championship. I had some fun trying to overtake the 59 car, but he was quite quick on the fast corners and it was difficult to try to overtake him under braking.”
David Brown, Team Manager, Krohn Racing:
“The drivers did very well and under difficult conditions. It was quite a challenge going from 17th on the grid to 5th. We tried a different strategy which worked to an extent. The drivers had to deal with a lot of traffic and overtaking which they did successfully. The car wasn’t as quick as we would have liked. It didn’t have quite as good of balance as we wanted for the race, so we left some lap time on the table there. But off to New Jersey with a new track and new challenges. We’ll have another go.”
All pictures courtesy of Sam Smith.