Friday, 27 January 2012 11:05

Daytona Test Days Notes & Quotes

Daytona Test Days Notes & Quotes Krohn Racing brought all four drivers, Tracy W. Krohn, Nic Jönsson, Ricardo Zonta and Colin Braun to the Daytona Test Days, January 6-8 for testing in the No. 76 Krohn Racing Proto-Auto Lola in preparation for the 50th anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona, January 26-29, 2012.

TRACY W. KROHN, Team Owner/Driver No. 76 Krohn Racing Ford Proto-Auto Lola:
"I think one of my favorite memories might be from the first year I did Daytona. That year I was driving a Porsche RSR GT3 and it was raining and cold and the guy that owned the car didn't like to drive at night or in the rain. Therefore I got about nine or ten hours of seat time. Some of it was just driving around under caution behind the safety car but it was really fun. It was especially fun because in the rain you had a chance to pass some of the DP cars in heavy rain."

NIC JONSSON, Driver, No. 76 Krohn Racing Ford Proto-Auto Lola:
"We've been working on set-up this weekend and cycling all the drivers through the car. We have all driven together before and here at Daytona so that's no big deal. We tested here in October so we are comparing notes from that test to this weekend. We are very comfortable with this Proto-Auto Lola car and ready to come back to Daytona and make a good run for the race."

RICARDO ZONTA, Driver No. 76 Krohn Racing Ford Proto-Auto Lola:
"I'm glad to be back at Daytona, especially because it is with the Krohn Racing team again and also because it is the 50th anniversary. It is good to be part of this. I'm hoping we can prepare a good car for the race so we can fight for a win at this special edition."

COLIN BRAUN, Driver, No. 76 Krohn Racing Ford Proto-Auto Lola:
"It's great to be coming here for my eighth year in the Rolex 24. I did my first year in a GT car and then all the ones after that I've run DP cars. It's neat to be able to come back and have something as a reference. To have the reference of all the different fields of cars I've driven and the experience I've had to be able to compare it to every other year helps me be able to get up to speed quickly."

"It's very different to drive a GT car and then a Prototype or a Truck and a Nationwide car. When I was switching back and forth, it was always challenging when I'd come down the front straight and you'd have to think, 'do I want to go straight or do I want to turn,' depending on which vehicle you're in. It's neat to have different experiences and all the different feels of vehicles I've driven."

JEFF HAZELL, Krohn Racing Motorsports Manager:
"Grand-Am's intention to balance the performance of the cars is really a difficult task with the tools that they presently have at their disposal. The Wind Tunnel work they conducted, of course, needs to be validated and verified on the track. If the intention was to do this during these Test Days, then that work has been made difficult with the misleading lap times of the cars either caught in traffic or compromised by the teams who are not going to show their hand in case they incur further restrictions to their car's performance from Grand-Am. So, the lap time and lap section times that Grand-Am has, at best, are confusing and don't give the clear data that is needed to make accurate changes between here and the race."

"With regard to the performance of the Krohn Ford Proto-Auto Lola it should not be forgotten that before this test Grand-Am took 500 rpm from the Ford engine, which has some effect. But more importantly, and on top of that, the Lola was designed to be effective more on high down force tracks than at Daytona. And thus has inherently more drag than its rivals. Now all 2011 cars have to carry a 'drag plate' underneath the rear wings, which has a severe effect on the aerodynamics of the car. Add this to a high down force designed car and the additional drag adds a disproportional handicap at Daytona. Thus despite honing our mature set up during our two-day October test we simply cannot reproduce those competitive lap times at this test."

DAVID BROWN, Krohn Racing Team Manager and Engineer:
"We have had a very productive test. We've covered all the items on the test list. All the drivers have driven the car and driven it well, as we expected. The car has been very reliable, covered a lot of miles and we've made ins on some set-up and component issues. All-in-all we've believe we are much more ready for the race than we were three days ago."

Colin Braun was "discovered" among the sports car racing world while driving for "Team 16" amongst a trio of 16-year-old race car drivers in 2005. Growing up in a racing family, Colin learned about telemetry and providing feedback to his race engineering father while racing go-karts as a youngster on the family property in Ovalo, Texas. Tracy Krohn signed the teenager a couple months after his 17th birthday to drive full-time in 2006 in a Daytona Prototype in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series with teammate Jorge Bergmeister. They finished the 2006 season with two victories, five podiums and in the Top 10 in all races, although Colin had to sit out three races due to his age and tobacco company restrictions. Co-driver Bergmeister went on to win the 2006 Grand-Am Driver Championship in the Prototype class and Krohn Racing won the Team Championship. Braun drove again full-time for Krohn Racing in 2007, collecting two pole positions and six podium finishes. He co-drove with Tracy Krohn and Nic Jönsson in the 24 Hours of Le Mans race in a Ferrari 430 GT in 2007, finishing second in the LMGT2 class.

The 2012 Rolex 24 will be Colin Braun's 8th 24-hour race at Daytona. He started racing in the Rolex at age 16 in 2005 in the GT class. Every subsequent race from 2006 through now has been in the Daytona Prototype (DP) class. This year's race will be Colin's fourth race Daytona 24 with Krohn Racing. Additionally, Colin competed with Krohn Racing at two 24 Hours of Le Mans races.

Tracy Krohn will be competing in his 14th 24-hour race later this month at Daytona. As Founder, Chairman and CEO of W&T Offshore (NYSE: WTI), Tracy only began racing regularly in 2005. He has previously competed in seven twice-around-the-clock enduros at Daytona and six at Le Mans, France.

Krohn Racing is currently the only team entered in both the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 24 Hours of Le Mans for 2012. After winning the GTE-Am class at Petit Le Mans in October 2011, Krohn Racing earned an automatic entry to the 24 Hours of Le Mans race. The privateer team competes in two separate cars – a Ford powered Proto-Auto Lola DP for Daytona and a Ferrari 458 GTE for Le Mans.

Ricardo Zonta has a two-car team in the Copa Nextel Stock Car Series in Brazil. The Copa Series, formed in 1979, is considered the major Brazilian motorsports series and features touring cars. Zonta is the owner/driver and his team, now entering its sixth season, runs Chevrolet-powered 480-hp V-8s.

Colin Braun has competed at Daytona in four different classes of cars – Grand-Am Daytona Prototype and GT and NASCAR Nationwide and Trucks. He's had one victory at Daytona, in the July 2006 Grand-Am race, with teammate Jorg Bergmeister.

Nic Jönsson will pull double duty and compete in both the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge races on the January 28-29 weekend. In addition to his drive with Krohn Racing, Jönsson will co-drive the #10 Kinetic Motorsports Kia Forte Koup.

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