Well, let's talk about the sixth round of the WEC in Bahrain first. I traveled to the Middle East, for the first time in my 20 plus years as a pro driver, with my Krohn Racing team and our Ferrari 458 to attend the race. As soon as I stepped outside of the Bahrain International Airport at about 9:30 p.m., I got hit with about 95F and 65% humidity. That's right, at 9:30 p.m.!
So, you can imagine the temperatures and humidity during the day. The big topic on everyone's mind was the heat and how to prepare as best as possible for that. But heat is something that has never been a concern or problem for me so the decision was made to double stint me at the end of the race and stagger Tracy and Michele with two single stints each.
Practice was a little difficult for us struggling with grip and balance of the car. Eventually we got the car in very good balance for the race, with our Ferrari being fastest in the warm up. Unfortunately we got a puncture in qualifying after just the first lap so that meant we had to start from the back of the field for the race. Tracy started the race and did a fantastic job running very consistent and competitive lap times against a lot of pro drivers. Michele got in and did a great job as well bringing us in to the lead before the two 2 hour mark.
However, when he came in for another routine stop and driver change our fuel rig did not work and we could not get any fuel in the car. This forced us to sit in the pit for over six minutes and lost us three laps and put us down to fifth place. At this point it was all about to try to score as many points as possible and try to regain at least a podium spot. We put our heads down and were able to get in to third place about 45 min from the end and finish on the podium.
The heat was not a real problem and the Krohn guys had done a great job, as always, preparing a very good and fast race car. This season has been very difficult for us with many incidents out of our control. But we are determined to go to Japan and China in the next 30 days to WIN!! We have the team, speed and equipment to do it. We don't even need any luck; we just need to not have any bad luck.
Having the best and fastest car is great, but to have bad luck continue to follow you around still makes it very difficult to win. So that's why a podium finish is disappointing.
The other Podium finish this weekend was in Lime Rock in the Grand-Am Continental Tire Series in the ST class for my Kinetic Motorsports. That was the last race of the season and down to the wire for the championship. I was the defending champion, but could not, for obvious reasons, be there and defend the title. Our hopes were that Andy Lally would be able to defend the team title and bring him the Driver's Championship title. Andy and I been driving together all year and been able to put us in a position to have a chance to win the title for the second year in a row. We were 12 points behind the leader and one point behind second place. The title came down to the last lap. It was very difficult conditions with rain throughout the race. Andy had to win to claim the title. He came very close and finished second, just two tenths of a second behind the car which won the title. So, that's how two podium finishes feels disappointing, even if it's a good result.
I guess if you are competitive by nature, nothing less than being the best and winning is good enough!
Till next time be, carful and take care of each other! Thank you for your support!
(Or check it out here: http://auto-racing.speedtv.com/article/in-the-cockpit-nic-joensson-bahrain-wec/ )