The inaugural WEC race in the Middle East had race start temperatures over 100 F degrees and 70 percent humidity, which only cooled slightly when the sun set less than two hours into the race. Krohn Racing team owner/driver
Tracy W. Krohn was starting driver and drove an exciting first stint, passing for position and turning excellent lap times. He rotated with co-driver Michele Rugolo and all went well until just past the two-hour mark as Rugolo pitted while leading in class. A fuel rig problem and subsequent repairs caused the Krohn Team to lose three laps and their hopes for victory.
Krohn Racing previously finished on the podium at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June, and by default following a penalty to another competitor at the 6 Hours of Silverstone in the UK.
TRACY W. KROHN, Krohn Racing Team Owner/Driver, No. 57 Krohn Racing Ferrari F458 GTE-Am:
"In my first stint, I felt the car was quite good. I just decided at the start of the race to be more patient with the car. I kept the tires in good shape and it paid dividends. We just took it easy and as the stint went on it just worked real well and we were able to make a pass here and there."
"The car was really good the whole time. We were at the top of the leader board for awhile. We had no problems with the car but we had a fuel rig issue, where it couldn't deliver fuel to the car. It was a complete failure and we had to overcome that. We lost several laps in the process. We sent the car out on the track while we worked on it."
"It was unfortunate because we had a very competitive car. Michele and Nic did a fantastic job. They pushed very hard and drove very well. It was a fun circuit and a great experience. This is a marvelous track and a great facility. We thank Shaikh Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince of Bahrain, for putting together the race. The whole thing was very well done."
MICHELE RUGOLO, No. 57 Krohn Racing Ferrari F458 GTE-Am:
"I think my stints were very good. I was super quick. I gave the car in first position to Tracy but there was a problem on the refueling system so we missed a few laps. Basically, that was it. We couldn't win the race. It was a good opportunity to win the race and get many points on the Corvette team and to reposition our car in the championship. At the end, we didn't get the result that should have been very easy for us. Without the problem we could have finished with more than a minute gap between our car and the second place position. This was really something out of our control though. There was no possibility at all to control the problem."
"The first stint was easier from the lighting point of view because I could get the track references before dark. There were not many problems with that. Tracy went into the track with the light to dark. He could have done a fantastic stint because he was very quick and consistent. Because the track is so wide, it easy to find a reference point in the dark. I'm just disappointed and sad at the result."
NIC JONSSON, No. 57 Krohn Racing Ferrari F458 GTE-Am:
"The plan was for me to do the final stint of the race as a double stint. Things had gone real well for us the whole race until we discovered we had a fuel rig issue. We were still chasing the podium finish and just about a dozen laps before the end our contender for position had to go into the garage and that sealed it for us."
"It was disappointing because we had the quickest car. The team prepared the car well as they always do. Other than the laps we lost due to the fuel rig, we could have won the race. But everyone did a fantastic job. Tracy, I think, drove his best race ever and kept up with the leaders and passed people. Michele was able to take the lead in his stint. Tracy drove and did well again. I managed a pass to be able to come up to third and get our second earned podium for the year. We had the team and driver line-up to win. We have had some bad luck this year so we are overcoming that. This is a phenomenal race track and facility. We are looking forward to coming back next year."
DAVID BROWN, Krohn Racing Team Manager/Race Engineer:
"We had the fastest car and all three drivers drove very well. We were in the lead after starting from last in class and moved up by driving well. We had a problem with the fueling rig on the first stint from Michele to Tracy. The damn fuel probe would not let fuel go. We did an exploratory change and sent the car back out while we investigated because we still had enough fuel to do so. The problem was with male probe that plugs into the side of the car that transfers fuel in and air out. We changed to a spare. We subsequently stripped down the part that caused the problem and discovered some anomalies. We will be further investigating that part with our supplier. That cost us eight minutes."
"We were the class of the field but we failed to make it stick. All drivers were very quick. Tracy was circulating in his first stint within one and half to two seconds to the leader. Michele was overtaking people in his stint. By the time Nic got in car, we were several laps behind but he retook third. He was two laps down from the second place car and drove conservatively to the end. It was an opportunity missed."
"Off we go to Fuji to finally win a bloody race. We are going to win a race this year! We've been quick and in strong positions so many times. We are going to do it."
The next round of the 2012 WEC will be the 6 Hours of Mount-Fuji, Sunday, October 14 at the Fuji International Speedway in Mt. Fuji, Japan. For more information, please go to www.fiawec.com