Mediani tested with Krohn Racing at both Road Atlanta and NOLA Motorsports Park during the first few months of 2013, earning a spot on the team for the 2013 WEC season, following the departure of Michele Rugolo.
The No. 57 GTE-Am Krohn Ferrari Team finished the season third in the class championship and plans to make another full run for the championship this season with the driving trio vying for points in all eight WEC races around the globe. The six-hour race at the 3.66-mile Silverstone Circuit in Northamptonshire, United Kingdom, is the inaugural round of 2013.
TRACY W. KROHN, Krohn Racing Team Owner/Driver, No. 57 Krohn Racing Ferrari F458 GTE-Am:
Silverstone will be the first WEC race of the season. Are you looking forward to driving the Ferrari F458 again? "Absolutely! I can't wait to get back in the 458. It was great to get a few other things done in the off season, but now it's time to focus on the FIA-WEC Championship. We are prepped and ready to get started. We will have proper Michelin tires and that will be a big help. We know all the tracks and there are no excuses left...only action!! Driving in GT class for the last couple of years has made a big difference in my performance."
Tell us a little about your racing and testing since the end of the WEC season last year.
"We have done two tests since the end of last season at Road Atlanta and NOLA Motorsports in New Orleans. NOLA is a great facility and we look forward to going there more often. Nic, myself, Emanuel Collard, and Romain Dumas entered in a Porsche GT, but were not able to finish the 24 Hours of Daytona due to mechanical issues. In March, Nic and I competed in the Krohn Racing DP at the COTA circuit in Austin, Texas in a Grand-Am Rolex race. While it was obvious that our car was not quick enough to win, as there has been no development on the car in the last two years, we still managed a very respectable sixth place overall finish. Austin is a great track and we are looking forward to racing there in the Ferrari 458 in September."
You have a new co-driver in Maurizio Mediani, share with us how he came to be part of the Krohn racing team.
"Maurizio tested very well with us and he has a good CV. He is a very experienced driver and particularly so in Ferrari GT cars and has been to all of the tracks we will compete at this year except Le Mans and Austin. He brings a wealth of experience anyway, but he is very familiar with the F458, particularly on the Michelin tires. He was a 'word of mouth' recommendation and we have no doubt of his ability to compete. He has nothing to prove and we believe that he will be an excellent addition to the driver lineup for Krohn Racing. Endurance racing is all about consistency and we feel Maurizio represents that quality."
April in Silverstone is expected to be cold and wet. How will you and the team handle and prepare for the expected weather conditions? How about the Michelin tires?
"We will plan on using a dry setup for Silverstone assuming good weather, but if it is wet, then we can easily adjust to wet weather as we have been there in the wet before during practice. We expect a big performance difference with the Michelin tires whether it is wet or dry."
What do you think the competition will be like in the GTE-Am class of the WEC this season?
"Competition in the GTE-Am class will be even more savage than it was last year, particularly with the rule changes that require more time in the car for the 'Am' drivers and less time for the 'Pro' drivers. Look for closer races at the finish and much improvement for all the 'Am' drivers, plus more variety in the make of cars. Every year we go faster and the bar is raised higher still! Plus, we will start and finish the year on the Michelin tires!"
NIC JONSSON, No. 57 Krohn Racing Ferrari F458 GTE-Am:
You have a new co-driver in Maurizio Mediani and have done some testing together. Tell us about that and how well you think he fits with the Krohn Racing team.
"Maurizio is a very accomplished and experienced race car driver with extensive international experience and with great knowledge about the Ferrari 458, being one of the test drivers for Ferrari since the car came out. Maurizio will fit right in with the Krohn Racing team with his personality, professionalism and dedication to win. We welcome him and look forward to driving together for the 2013 WEC season."
Tell us a little about your racing and testing since the end of the WEC season last year.
"Krohn Racing has been doing some testing in the States with the new update kit that the Ferrari 458 has for this season. We have had a few good days of testing to make sure we found a good balance with the new bits and pieces on the car. Tracy and I also raced in the Daytona 24 Hour race in the GT class to get ready for this years' WEC season. We also did a race at the new Circuit of the Americas with the Krohn Racing Daytona Prototype to get a first look at this new track and facility."
April in Silverstone is expected to be cold and wet. How will you and the team handle and prepare for the expected weather conditions?
"I think you always get yourself prepared for rain at some point when you go to Silverstone this time of year. We are not doing any specific preparation for potential rain, more than bringing thick and heavy jackets and headwear."
MAURIZIO MEDIANI, No. 57 Krohn Racing Ferrari F458 GTE-Am:
This is your first season with the Krohn Racing team. Tell us what you knew about the team before you were hired and how the arrangement to be part of the team can about.
"The first contact with the Krohn team I had in 2010, when I did the shakedown of Ferrari 458 owned by them. I was immediately impressed by the experience and professionalism of David Brown and in that moment I thought it would be nice to be able to work with him. Now that this has become a reality, I am very happy. With the vast experience of David, he gives you a strong motivation to search for the best possible result. One of the funniest things is that the green color of the car is my favorite since I was a baby!"
You have been driving the Ferrari F458 as a test driver since 2010 and instructor since 2011. What kind of benefit does that give you as a driver in the WEC series competing in the same Ferrari?
"First of all, it is an honor for me to be driving a Ferrari. I know the car because I am part of the development program, together with other pilots (the development is always a team work). This year I hope to bring something to the team with my experiences to try to be competitive and bring the car to a good level of preparation with my teammates Tracy and Nic."
What do you think the competition will be like in the GTE-am class of the WEC series this season?
"The season will be very, very difficult. There are so many cars entered, the level of the drivers has grown substantially and is for this reason that we will have to commit a lot." Tell us about your experiences driving at Silverstone and what you think of the circuit. "Silverstone is the temple of speed. Just enter the paddock feel a special atmosphere, the flavor of history. The circuit is a legend, the greatest champions of Formula 1 and not only that, have over there. For me then, the circuits in the world are all beautiful. The important thing is to go fast!"
You have done some testing with the Krohn Racing team already this year. How do you think co-driving with Tracy and Nic will be?
"I think that the relationship with Nic and Tracy will be beautiful. We already have a good understanding during testing and we worked in the same direction with the car set-up. We are already in agreement on the adjustments and this is very important to start the season well."
DAVID BROWN, Krohn Racing Team Manager/Race Engineer:
Share with us about Maurizio Mediani joining the Krohn Racing team.
"We welcome Maurizio to Krohn Racing to join our driver line-up for 2013, where we know he will make a significant contribution, alongside our own, Tracy, and our long term professional driver, Nic. Maurizio has attended two Krohn Racing tests this year and we have signed him as a result of his performance and our experiences with him during those tests."
What are your thoughts on the start of the WEC season and the changes to the Ferrari F458?
"We're looking forward to a fruitful and successful season in our recently updated and Michelin-shod Ferrari F458. We are very pleased to be continuing our relationship with Michelin and certainly looking forward to the first race in Silverstone. The updates to the Ferrari bring it the 2012 specification as run in the Pro class last year. We have larger diameter front tires from Michelin and some engine performance enhancements, all of which means greater potential performance and a faster car. Our competition too will benefit from increased performance, so we will have to take maximum advantage from the increases in speed we have to overcome the opposition."
Round One of the 2012 WEC will be the 6 Hours of Silverstone at the home to motorsports in the United Kingdom. The weekend will also feature Round One of the European Le Mans Series (ELMS) and Round Two of the FIA European Formula 3 Series.
For more information, please go to www.fiawec.com.