Grand AM » 31 January 2007
rand-Am: Krohn focus on points chase.
Having failed to launch a challenge for victory in the Rolex 24 at Daytona, the Krohn Racing team preferred to look to the rest of the season ahead after both cars managed to score points in the season opening round the clock event.
The #76 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley of owner/driver Tracy Krohn and team-mates Nic Jönsson and Boris Said suffered two major electrical setbacks during the race, problems that took numerous pit stops to try and fix. As it was, the trio finished 21st overall and 13th in class, 61 laps down from the leaders.
“The good part was that we finished,” Krohn said. “The other good part was the crew did everything that they could possibly do to keep the cars rolling as quickly as they could get them in and get them out like they did. I was very proud of the crew, despite all the troubles we had with the electrical system. I thought they did an outstanding job.”
The #75 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley of Max Papis, Colin Braun and JJ Lehto – which had been tipped as a potential race winner - finished 17th overall and eleventh in class, 53 laps down. They also suffered a major electrical problem, requiring over an hour in pit and garage stops to change the electronic harness, coils, injectors, spark plugs/wires and ECU unit. Additionally, Lehto experienced an off-road excursion in the chicane when he attempted to cross the grass, thus damaging the nose by getting bottomed out in the rain-soaked grass.
“The car was really good,” teenager Braun said. “Unfortunately we had those electrical problems. The car was so quick in the infield we could run times competitive with the leaders. Despite the problem we had, the team did a really good job trying to get as many points for the championship as we could. It was a really good effort by everybody.”
Had it not been for the electrical issues, then the team could well have featured in the enthralling battle played out for victory and team manager Jeff Hazell admitted that the speed of the package for encouraging heading into the remainder of the season.
“We determined before the race that whatever problems we had, we would just stick at it and try and accumulate points for the championship,” he said. “Last year the points were very valuable to us. Overall in class, we finished eleventh and 13th. They are going to be very valuable points, I hope. They will make the difference between winning and not winning the championship. That said, we've obviously got some problems to investigate and it's going to keep us pretty busy.
“Outside of the electrical problems and difficulty with the rain wiper, the car was really faultless, which is encouraging. In perspective, it was not a great result, but could have been a lot worse. A lot of the work we put into the car this year did show its benefits this race. We certainly had the speed in the cars, if we didn't have the reliability. I'm not too disheartened. We've got two racing cars in good condition and that allows us to concentrate on overcoming the problems we encountered. We have every expectation of putting some drivers on the podium in Mexico.”
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