Thursday, 22 March 2012 16:37

In the Cockpit with Nic Jonsson

Hey, Nic Jönsson here again. I wish I would have had something more positive to write about than our finish position in Sebring this past weekend! Well if you just look at the result it would be very disappointing, but the fact that we got to race and that we get to do what we love to do is a very fortunate and positive thing on its own.

So I figured I will tell you a little about the whole experience of the 60th anniversary of the 12 Hours of Sebring. This event is always one of the most spectacular, both from a sporting perspective, but also with everything that's going on around the event. There is no place in the world where you have more vibrant and excited fans! You may say that some people are going a little crazy, and you are probably right, but this is what makes this event very special! It's a huge mix of older, pure sport car fans, along with the younger crowd that just came to party on the infield. The mix of the different people and interest levels makes this a perfect scene and spectacle.

The Sebring event was the first race on the calendar for the ALMS and the inaugural event for the World Endurance Championship. Between those two events and being the 60th anniversary, it was a really big deal.

With St. Patrick's Day on race day Saturday, it made the Krohn team very popular with our green team colors. It's funny how this color has become a trademark for the team. When Tracy decided on this color a few years back most people thought this was an odd color to go racing with, but this has really grown in to something very recognizable and popular across the globe, and is now recognized as "KROHN GREEN" and makes the team very popular.

On track activities with our new Ferrari F458 started out with a little struggle the first couple of days with some electronic glitches that the Krohn and Ferrari guys got fixed before the official testing started on Thursday. The #57 green Krohn Ferrari was up front on the time sheets the whole day with many different set-up changes to try to get the car as balanced as possible for qualifying on Friday afternoon.

The last practice session on Friday morning before qualifying had our #57 Krohn Ferrari on top and we were going in to the qualifying session in the afternoon with great confidence of having a chance on pole! I was selected to qualify the car, so the Engineer and I tried to decide what tire we were going to qualify on since it was considerably warmer this day than earlier in the week. We made a decision and had a very good solid run that put us 2nd on the grid. It was a little disappointing not being on pole, but we knew we had a good race car for the race.

We ran 2nd for the first 40 minutes or so before we took the lead and started to pull away. After about two hours I handed the car over to Tracy who did a phenomenal job keeping the car in the lead for the majority of his double stint. Michele got in and ran very solid before he got stuck in fourth gear due to a paddle shift part problem. We were forced to make a lengthy pit stop to make repairs and this took us out of contention of any chance of defending our win from 2011 at the 12 Hour of Sebring. The Krohn crew did a great job the entire race and we had a fifth place finish and scored some very valuable points for the overall WEC championship.

Next stop is Spa, Belgium in May. I am very much looking forward to go back to Spa and try to win with our #57 Krohn green Ferrari F458.

Until I get back in to the Ferrari with Krohn, I will now get to focus on my Kinetic KIA programs. We have our first race in World Challenge with our newly built KIA Optima Turbos this weekend in St. Petersburg, FL. This is very exciting since the cars just got finished before being loaded and headed to the track. So we will have to do the first shake downs at the first practice session. That's not ideal, but I have full confidence in our Kinetic crew guys who have built a fantastic looking car. Well done guys!

And after this weekend I head to Barber Motorsport Park for the second round of the Grand-Am Continental Tire Series with our Kinetic KIA Forte Koups. I'm really looking forward to this!

A big thank you to all your fans out there. Be safe and take care of each other! Till next time!

Nic

http://auto-racing.speedtv.com/article/in-the-cockpit-nic-joensson-sebring-wec/

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