The No. 57 Krohn Racing Ferrari F458 Team put the young Italian, Michele Rugolo, behind the wheel to qualify. He did so with aplomb, even with limited lap time on the challenging circuit. His time of 2:15.608 was good enough for fourth in the GTE-Am class, having just been nipped out of his third place spot in the final seconds of the session.
TRACY W. KROHN, Team Owner/Driver No. 57 Krohn Racing Ferrari F458 GTE-Am:
"Silverstone is a very fast, very technical track. With the amount of seat time that I get in the car, it's always harder for me to come up to speed here than any other place we race. We were thinking earlier that I would qualify the car just to get the extra laps. As it turned out in Practice 3 I got a little quicker...about three second a lap quicker so we there was no need to do that. I'm close to about where I thought I would be, or within a second or second and a half, and that's going to come with more laps on the track. This track is always variable. Weather is always a critical factor here. So far the experience has been very good. I've been very pleased with the car. I'm pleased with the tires. We've made progress with the set-up continuously so I'm looking forward to race now."
NIC JONSSON, Driver, No. 57 Krohn Racing Ferrari F458 GTE-Am:
"We qualified fourth today, which I think was a great performance by Michele, who hasn't done a lot of laps here this weekend. Mixed in with wet/dry conditions, and going from wet tires to dry tires, it's a great performance. I believe we have a very good shot at this race. We've had a good pace and the car is very reliable and solid so far. Tomorrow will be a lot about strategy and to stay out of trouble. The prototype cars are extremely aggressive out here and there has been a lot of contact. We had a slight contact but there's been a lot of contact between GT and the prototypes so that will be the main thing to think about tomorrow – stay out of trouble, be consistent and then, I think, we'll have a good result tomorrow and gain some valuable points."
MICHELE RUGOLO, Driver, No. 57 Krohn Racing Ferrari F458 GTE-Am:
"Qualifying was a nightmare. These are the worst conditions, where you don't know which tire to chose. We started with rain tires, more or less like everybody. The only car with slick tires was the JMW Ferrari. We changed tires with 10 minutes to go and I think it was the right decision. The track was pretty much okay in the first part. In the last part the track was still really, really wet. It was very difficult to understand where you could push, and where you had to cruise for position. In my best lap, I think I lost more than one second in a corner because I had to avoid two cars. With at least one second, we could have been P3, but that's okay.
Everything is pretty good. I think since yesterday Tracy has done a very good improvement. His lap time is ok. We just need to find that extra second for him and a little bit more consistency and then he will be very competitive. Many cars are, more or less, the same. I think maybe Nic is a bit better now so I believe this is a good weapon we can use during the race. The race is very long and the weather is unpredictable. We don't know what to do on the strategy point-of-view. We will see tomorrow. I think 90% of the decision will be made on the weather conditions."
DAVID BROWN, Team Manager/Race Engineer, Krohn Racing:
"We're looking forward to tomorrow's race. Qualifying presented many challenges with the changing conditions. We ended up fourth, which is not where we wanted to be, but it's a very long race and we'll be testing more in the warm-up to try and find a compromise for the race. We're not quite sure what the weather is going to do in the race yet. Based on today's experience it can do anything at anytime and very quickly, all of which makes it a bit more of a lottery. It means that the better teams are able to make good decisions and the better crews are able to make faster pit stops and move wet and dry tires around in the garage and so on. We're looking forward to the race, no matter what it brings."
Fun Fact: 2012 is year two of the redevelopment of the now 3.66-mile, 18-turn Silverstone Circuit. Krohn Racing competed at the legendary circuit last year in the International Le Mans Cup series race in early September.
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