Fighting finish for Krohn Racing at the 4 Hours of Red Bull Ring
The sight of the Checkered Flag and the points scored were some reward for the perseverance of the team and drivers.
Krohn Racing endured a difficult afternoon in Austria to eventually finish a points-scoring ninth in the 4 Hours of Red Bull Ring, the third round of the 2016 European Le Mans Series. The team had high hopes when Nic Jönsson started the race in the team’s Nissan-powered Ligier JS P2 prototype.
Nic ran comfortably in the leading group but 25 minutes into the race problems with the gearbox hampered the speed of the car. Eventually the issue was diagnosed as a faulty sensor in the transmission but by the time this was fixed the team had lost several laps.
The real potential of the car was then displayed as both Team Owner, Tracy W. Krohn and final driver, Olivier Pla turned in their fastest laps of the weekend. Olivier was the fastest man on track at times, which made the problems encountered even more frustrating. The sight of the Checkered Flag and the points scored were some reward for the perseverance of the team and drivers, who will head to Paul Ricard in France next month with renewed confidence.
Tracy W. Krohn, Krohn Racing Team Owner/Driver: “It was a bit of a rocky start, we had a gearbox sensor that was faulty, it took us a while to figure out what it was. Nic started off and did his two stints and had to use the clutch to change down with the paddle shift. This made driving a lot more cumbersome, a little bit more dangerous because the problem was intermittent and therefore unpredictable. We figured out a fix that worked for about half a lap but then we had to go back to using the clutch.
The team did a really good job determining what the problem was and once we realized that it was a faulty gearbox sensor we fixed it. At the end of the race the car was quite good, Oli got in the car and turned in some really fast laps, it was the quickest car out there. Then I got in the car and did my quickest laps of the week, so in the end we were very pleased to have finished and we will go to Paul Ricard looking for a different result.”
Nic Jönsson, Driver Krohn Racing: “Obviously we had a gearbox issue, or rather a sensor issue with the gearbox about 20-25 minutes into the race. Up to that point the car was good, the Krohn Racing and Greaves Motorsport guys had done a phenomenal job in preparing the car for us. We were running a really good pace there, comfortable in fifth, basically clicking off laps, and that was very good. Unfortunately we had this mishap that took us a few laps behind and then it a matter of pitting and fixing it and then running to the finish without any other problems to score some points. I’m looking forward to Paul Ricard and hopefully we will have a better finish there.”
Olivier Pla, Driver Krohn Racing: “From the beginning Nic had a problem with the gearbox, he couldn’t down-shift and up-shift normally, he had to do it manually. He was struggling and we were losing a lot of time, we tried to fix it but that didn’t work. So then we took a bit of time to fix it properly and then after that the car was fine. My stint was Ok but the biggest problem we had over the weekend was that we were struggling with the power from the engine. I have to say the car was great, the car was mega to drive, perfect, so thanks to the team for that.”
Jeff Glover, Team Manager Krohn Racing: “Well, we’re a little disappointed, we had a fast car today, the fastest car on the track for several laps during the race. We fought an electrical problem during the race, a gearbox position sensor, that really cost us a lot of time. These things happen in racing, we’re disappointed, but we had a decent finish. All the drivers, the engineers, the whole team and Michelin did a great job, so we’ll look forward to the next race and a better position there.”
Lee Penn, Race Engineer Krohn Racing: “Today pace-wise the car was very good, we were very, very happy with the balance of the car and we definitely made some improvements. Unfortunately we had an electronics issue which stopped the gearbox from changing gear for three-quarters of the race. Once we sorted it and the pace was very good. Tracy did an amazing job and was very quick and we go on to Paul Ricard next. We were quickest there at The Prologue and we’re really looking forward to it.”
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