Starting driver Jönsson, who co-qualified the car with Krohn in the eighth position in the GTE-Am class, knew he was going to have a bit of a struggle from his first stint and radioed in to advise of poor handling and no grip. He turned the Ferrari F458 over to Team Owner/Driver Krohn just over one hour into the six hour race. Krohn repeated the handling sentiments of Jönsson. Mediani had the same issue when he piloted the car after the second hour. However, the car seemed to have improved midway through Mediani's stint.
The Krohn Racing team also found the car stranded on the COTA circuit without power temporarily about four and a half hours into the race. Fortunately, Jönsson was able to restart the car and head to the garage for a brief check by the crew. Although an ignition switch issue was suspected, the Krohn Team will do further analysis in their pre-Fuji preparation day on Monday at COTA.
TRACY W. KROHN, Krohn Racing Team Owner/Driver, No. 57 Krohn Racing Ferrari F458 GTE-Am:
"The car was Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde today. I got in on the tail end of double stint tires two times, unfortunately, so that made it a little more difficult. There was something wrong with the back end of the car for a while. They had to bring it in and do some work on it. We had some very odd wear patterns on the rear tires as well. We've got some work to do still. At times the car was actually good. The track rubbered in and the car was different but we all experienced a bit of the same issue. Nic and I both did to start with. We should have changed tires when I got in the car but we opted not to figuring that they would wear in and get better, but it was just one of those days where I felt like I was hanging on to the car the whole time . The good thing is the car came back in all of its proper pieces, we learned a few things and hopefully we'll translate that to Japan."
NIC JONSSON, No. 57 Krohn Racing Ferrari F458 GTE-Am:
"We were struggling all weekend with the set up on the car. We're not quite sure exactly what's been going on. We thought we found some substantial things last night before the race and that was evidently not the case once we went out in the first stint. We were still struggling quite a bit in the first stint. Then Tracy got in and we were still struggling and then Maurizio got in and same thing. However, halfway through his stint he started to get much quicker and he said the car felt pretty good.
"Tracy got back in and seemed to struggle again and then I got in and the car was a completely different car to drive. All of a sudden I had grip and we were running competitive lap times against the leaders. I don't really have an explanation of what's going on but there seems to be something fundamentally wrong. We need to get to the bottom of this before we ship the car to Japan because it's going to be very frustrating to have another weekend like this and I think we deserve better. The Krohn Racing crew deserves better because they do a phenomenal job setting the cars up for us all the time. The cars are always well prepared and very clean and nice. It's just unfortunate we don't have a fast car and we need to change that. We know we have the driver line-up and the crew to be competing up front. I know we are going to find something and go to Japan and have a good run."
MAURIZIO MEDIANI, No. 57 Krohn Racing Ferrari F458 GTE-Am:
"We were not able to have a good car here for some reason and the reason we don't know yet because it is not easy to find a car problem. I really think it is a car problem though. On the other hand, it was a fantastic experience to be here in this circuit. It is one of the best circuits in the world. I am here for the first time. Apart from the weather we had on Thursday and Friday, today is a beautiful blue sky of Texas that is a surprise for me. I am proud to be here, even if the result is not good. "Unfortunately I had the problem in the second stint and I had to drive with Nic's seat inside, which they forgot to pull off. It gave me a cramp by the end of the race but the physical therapist will help me now."
MARK SCHOMANN, Krohn Racing Race Engineer:
"Again we continue our bad luck streak here at Krohn Racing. We were optimistic going into the weekend that we had found some things to improve the car. At the start of the race the car was still not right. Something was making it not handle properly or have the right amount of grip. Then midway through the race it seems to have gotten better. We don't know if that's because the track rubbered in or if whatever's wrong with the car has moved, shifted or fixed itself, which I doubt. It's going to be our duty now to dig into the car and find out what's wrong with it, and fix it before shipping it all the way to Japan. With the time restraints we have, we're going to have to start on it here and finish it there."
The next event for the Krohn Racing team will be Round 6 of 8 of the 2013 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) at 6 Hours of Fuji, Fuji, Japan, on Sunday October 20, 2013.
For more information, please go to www.fiawec.com or www.krohnracing.net. Follow us on Facebook/Krohn Racing or Twitter @KrohnRacing.