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DATE News (chronologically)
01/25/10
grandam
Krohn Racing ready for Rolex 24  
Krohn Racing
Ford Proto-Auto Lola

Krohn Racing returns this week to the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida for the Grand-Am Rolex Series’ Rolex 24 At Daytona endurance sports car race. The 48th running of the twice-around-the-clock historic enduro will be held January 30-31, 2010.

Krohn Racing owner/driver Tracy W. Krohn has entered one car, the No. 75 Krohn Racing Ford Proto-Auto Lola. A familiar driver line-up includes Krohn, team regular Nic Jönsson, former Formula One racer Ricardo Zonta and NASCAR Nationwide Series competitor Colin Braun.

Zonta is returning after having raced in a second Krohn Racing car with teammate Jönsson the past two seasons in Grand-Am, capturing two victories and one pole. Braun returns to the team where he got his start as a full-time professional race car driver in 2006-07, before moving into the NASCAR ranks. Jönsson starts his sixth full season with Krohn Racing and eighth working with Tracy Krohn.

DRIVER QUOTES:
TRACY W. KROHN, Team Owner/Driver No. 75 Krohn Racing Ford Proto-Auto Lola:
Krohn Racing is returning to Daytona for the 2010 running of the Rolex 24 in January with one car and an impressive driver line-up with Nic Jönsson, Ricardo Zonta and Colin Braun. Please share your thoughts about how this line-up came together and why you selected these talented drivers.

“They are all drivers we have had on the team before so we knew everyone would make a good driving combination. For the 24-hour race you want talented drivers that can not only go fast but also know when and how to make compromises and how to save the car so it can last through all 24 hours, which is not an easy thing to accomplish. We would like to win this race and I think we have a driving combination capable of doing just that.”

You had a good Daytona Test session earlier this month despite the foul weather. Do you feel prepared for the Rolex 24 race?
“We definitely had some foul weather at the Daytona Test but are expecting better weather this week. We were able to get the car more drivable, get better grip and align the balance between Nic, Colin and I at the test. Ricardo will be able to just fit into what we were able to set up at the test. We actually left the test feeling like we could go racing then. We come to Daytona this week with that same feeling that we are ready to race.”

You were the team owner who gave Colin his first big professional racing break. Now he’s off and making a name for himself in NASCAR. How is it having Colin Braun back at the Krohn Racing team?
“Oh, it’s great to have Colin back with us. He’s been somewhat like a son and it’s been nice to see him expand his career and do well in the both the Truck and Nationwide Series. He’s always had talent. We knew it six years ago. That’s why I signed him to drive with us. He hasn’t changed a bit though. Well, he’s got a little more Southern twang in his accent now but he’s still the kid we knew. He, Nic, Ricardo and I are looking forward to a great race this weekend.”

NIC JONSSON, Driver, No. 75 Krohn Racing Ford Proto-Auto Lola:
What is your favorite part about the Rolex 24 race?

“It’s always very exciting to start off the season with the Rolex 24 hour race. Everyone does their best in trying to prepare after a long grueling season. At the test before the race we see if the other teams go with a different engine manufacturer or different chassis because a lot of mind games are played before we first show up for the test. I think it’s very exciting to have that factor. Also, to have the 24 hours the beginning race of the year you get to learn the teams that have the most depth and likely will for the entire season. Of course the endurance factor is very exciting to me. You learn how well and if you kept up with your physical preparedness program. The race shows the best in the business. It’s extremely exciting and challenging to me.”

The Rolex 24 At Daytona is one of the most prestigious and renown sports car endurance races in the world and one in which you have raced several times before. What would it mean to you to finish on the podium or win at Daytona this year with Krohn Racing?
“To me it’s both emotional and exciting. Tracy and I met years ago at the Panoz Racing School and then he hired me to race the Lamborghini in ALMS (American Le Mans Series) in 2004 for half a season. We have been together ever since and have become very close friends outside the race track. It’s been a great experience to me because Tracy is obviously very talented and successful in business. I have learned a lot from him, not just working with him as a co-driver but also about life -- how you do things, how you prepare yourself in the business world. I’ve been trying to build my own business, along with a partner, for a few years. Tracy has given me a lot of good business advice. Additionally, in my opinion, the gentleman driver in this case has also given me a lot of positive input that helps me perfect my driving. There are a lot of things the pro guys may overlook, but if you work with a very talented and extremely competitive driver as Tracy, you learn from them as well. I look positively on this race and this season and think he and I are going to have a fantastic year together. To be on the podium at Daytona would be the icing on the cake.”

RICARDO ZONTA, Driver No. 75 Krohn Racing Ford Proto-Auto Lola:
You were not at the Daytona Test a few weeks ago. How prepared are you for the Rolex 24 At Daytona race?

“No, I could not make it to the test but I know the car and the team. I have driven it for the past two years. The Daytona race is always a difficult race because it is 24 hours of racing and so many things can happen. We have a very good team who knows how to take care of things if there is a problem. As a driver, that is reassuring to know you go in prepared at the start and can count on them if there is trouble.”

The Rolex 24 At Daytona is one of the most prestigious and renown sports car endurance races in the world and one in which you have raced several times before. What would it mean to you to finish on the podium or win at Daytona this year with Krohn Racing?
“I would very much like to win the race this year. We have a good car and a good team. We all work together well and David Brown does a good job in preparing the team and drivers. I have been on the podium at Le Mans and it would be really good to experience that at Daytona as well. I hope I can do that this year with this team.”

COLIN BRAUN, Driver, No. 75 Krohn Racing Ford Proto-Auto Lola:
Do you feel competing at Daytona for the Rolex in January will help you when you come back with Roush Fenway in the Nationwide Series in February?

“I don’t really think it does. They’re such different disciples and different kinds of racing that I don’t think a lot of it really translates to help. But just driving a race car and being involved in racing, working with different guys on the team gets you back in the swing of things from a little bit of off-season that we’ve had and that helps. I don’t think it’s going to be a deal where you learn a lot and where driving the sports car is going to translate over to the stock car. Just getting back to the swing of things and being a race car driver is good though.”

We know the schedules can get pretty crazy in NASCAR, how were you able to make time to come race at the Rolex 24?
“This year it worked out well. Normally I’ve always struggled with a Roush Fenway Media Day we have, where we do a bunch of questions and answers and pictures and obligations like that. Usually that’s where I spend the Thursday of Daytona week so I’ve struggled to try and get down there in time to take a few laps for Thursday’s practice sessions. This year it worked out well with the media day happening on a Tuesday so it certainly works out well for my schedule and I can get down and make sure I’m there for all of Thursday and actually do my practice laps and things like that. For the race week I had to move a few things around with my Roush Fenway schedule with appearances but we can make everything happen, It is going to be a lot of fun!”

How did you fit back in with the Krohn Racing team and driving a Prototype car when you came for the Daytona Test?
“After a few laps I was very comfortable with the car. It was easy to drive and I adapted quickly, getting up to speed after a few laps and improving my pace after I got a few more. I think we’ve got a good, solid car for the race. The team has been developing this car and you can get in and it really drives well immediately. I fell right back into joking and having fun with the team members. They are almost all the same guys as when I was with the team a few years ago, so we just hit it off again. For me going into the Rolex 24 race, it makes it both fun and comfortable knowing we have a good car and we’ll be ready for the challenges you always face in an endurance race.”

DAVID BROWN, Krohn Racing Team Manager and Engineer:
Do you come into the Rolex 24 race week feeling prepared and ready?

“We accomplished many of the things we set out to do at the test, despite the horrible weather. Tracy needed to get reacquainted with the car since he had not driven it for a few months. Colin needed to get comfortable and up to speed as well. We worked on grip and balance and a whole list of key items, as always. There are always things you want to tweak and improve when you leave a test session, so we did just that. Of course, at a 24-hour endurance race, you cannot prepare for everything. Sometimes you get challenging elements thrown at you and you just manage them the best you can as they happen. Coping and recovering is a key factor to putting a car back on the track when adversity strikes. Your goal is always to put the car back on track and finish as high as possible.”

You have all returning drivers in Tracy, Nic, Ricardo and Colin. Does that work in your favor?
“Yes, it certainly helps to have drivers who know the car, the team, how we work together and know each other as drivers. You look for every advantage as you can when selecting your drivers for a 24-hour race. We feel we have a good combination of four drivers who can work together and manage the car and the elements over 24 hours of racing.”

All four Krohn Racing drivers have been on the podium at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but have yet to take that step at the Rolex 24 At Daytona. Krohn, Jönsson and Braun finished second in the GT class at the 2007 24 Hours of Le Mans in France. Krohn and Jönsson were on the podium again in 2009 with a third-place finish, also in the GT class. Zonta was third in the LMP1 class at the 2008 running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

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