Risi Competizione confirms Petit Le Mans and Laguna Seca Lineup
The American Le Mans Series GT2 Championship-winning Risi Competizione team will extend its racing relationship with Krohn Racing for the final two rounds of the 2008 season.
The two teams have joined together for endurance races both in the United States and at Le Mans over the last two years with great success. The highlights have been wins for Risi at Le Mans this year and Sebring in 2007, with the Krohn green car taking a superb second place at Le Mans 14 months ago and an equally strong podium finish at the 12 Hours of Sebring at the start of the 2008 season in March.
The #61 Risi Krohn Ferrari 430 GT will be driven by Tracy W. Krohn, Nic Jönsson and Eric van de Poele at both Petit Le Mans and Laguna Seca, both races to be held in October. It will race alongside the familiar #62 Rosso Red Ferrari of Jaime Melo and Mika Salo who will be looking to repeat their faultless drive of a few months ago at the French circuit after which the series is named.
“I’m very happy to welcome Tracy, Nic and Eric back to Risi Competizione,” said Team Principal Giuseppe Risi. “We’ve achieved some great results together over the last two years and we hope that Petit Le Mans and Laguna Seca will produce yet more success.
“Tracy, Nic and Eric all know Road Atlanta very well now, and are familiar with the Ferrari GT2 car, so we’re confident that – with that little bit of luck which we seem to have been missing in our ALMS season so far – we’ll continue our great endurance record. Nic is based nearby to Road Atlanta so it’s his ‘home’ track, and Eric will I’m sure be hoping to add to his recent Spa 24 Hours victory.”
Tracy Krohn, Nic Jönsson and Eric van de Poele, all full-season drivers in the 2008 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series, are glad to be back competing in the Risi Krohn Ferrari 430 GT.
Swedish-born Jönsson, Krohn’s racing teammate for over six years, and veteran Belgian sports car racer, van de Poele, add a wealth of experience to Krohn’s expanding racing career.
Tracy W. Krohn said: “We’re getting ready for Petit again this year. We had a very good result at Sebring, although not so good at Le Mans. Nic and Eric are very familiar with the track, as am I, which makes a pretty good combination with also having our Krohn Racing team right at Road Atlanta. We’ve got a lot of laps around that track and the Ferrari is a wonderful car to drive. I really enjoy driving it. As far as Laguna is concerned, who doesn’t want to go to Laguna. What a great place to race! I got knocked around a couple of times by the Prototype cars and beat up a little bit. It’s time for a little redemption there as well.”
Nic Jönsson said, “It is obviously exciting to be back in the Ferrari for Petit Le Mans with Risi Competizione and Krohn Racing and driving with Tracy and Eric. It’s always one of the biggest sports car races in the county and in the world. It has a pre-qualifying status to the big race at Le Mans. We had a pretty good car last year, but had some bad luck although we were pretty quick. I think it’s going to be difficult to run at speed, but we have to be smart and make sure we stay out of trouble and be consistent. We’re not going to be quite as quick as the regulars are in ALMS because they drive those cars all day long, so it’s going to be very difficult. We know the track real well and we’ll have a very well-prepared car. It’s also my home track and I live 20 minutes from there, as well as my business. I’ll have a lot of people coming out to Petit – friends, family. It’s going to be an exciting event and I’m pleased to go back there. We had a third place finish at Sebring and that goes back to having a well-prepared car. I think all of the drivers are well conditioned and we stuck to our strategy and did good pit stops, stayed out of trouble and kept our nose clean and that seemed to work out. We’re going to have the same strategy again and hopefully we can build on that third place finish...at least get a podium and try to better that one or two places.”
Eric van de Poele: “Of course it’s a fantastic opportunity for me to be back again with Risi in a Ferrari at Petit Le Mans because we won the very first Petit Le Mans together. This is very important to me and we also had a very good result at Sebring, so we must try to do the same minimum at Petit Le Mans. I know it is going to be tough because the traffic there is very hard with the Prototype. The track is quite narrow so it’s going to be very difficult. I’m ready for the challenge. After the Maserati win at home (in Belgium) with Spa, it would be fantastic maybe to have a win in a Ferrari in the same year. Why not? We can dream, we can try, we can work hard again and try to get that result.”