Team release: Krohn Racing's disappointment for Fuji fans
Torrential rain at Fuji International Speedway today unfortunately prevented a race from being run, much to the disappointment of the thousands of passionate Japanese fans present, some of whom were sporting the Krohn green colors in support of the Ferrari team.
The race was stopped after 3 hours and 46 minutes due to worsening weather conditions and deteriorating light and, while Krohn Racing was officially declared sixth in the GTE-Am class, it was definitely a classification rather than a result. Only 16 laps of racing were completed – all behind the Safety Car – and the race was suspended twice by the Race Director for safety reasons before it was eventually red-flagged.
Krohn Racing was one of three Am teams to make an early stop to change drivers, with race-starter Nic Jönsson handing off to team owner/driver Tracy W. Krohn in order to try and fulfill the WEC regulations concerning minimum and maximum driving time for the “gentleman” drivers. What looked to have been a very smart call on strategy by Race Engineer Mark Schomann ultimately came without gain as the regulation was waived due to Force Majeure. Half points were awarded to all drivers.
TRACY W. KROHN, Krohn Racing Team Owner/Driver, No. 57 Krohn Racing Ferrari F458 GTE-Am: “It was one of the most bizarre afternoons I’ve experienced and unfortunately the fans are the ones who suffered the most as they’re just such nice people. They’ve been very supportive all week and some of them we saw at Le Mans earlier this year as well. We were more disappointed for them than for ourselves but clearly it was the right decision not to race. With the tire situation we have it would have been way too dangerous. I just wish they’d made the decision a little earlier so people didn’t have to suffer out in the rain. It’s hard to make that call though and I certainly understand the issues the organizers were facing.”
NIC JONSSON, No. 57 Krohn Racing Ferrari 430 GTE-Am: “We made big improvements to the car in practice and qualifying, from Austin for sure, and we were much more on the pace. We could have been fourth in qualifying and were within a couple of hundredths of a second. The car is definitely much more competitive, even if it’s not quite where we need it yet, but in today’s conditions it would have been hard to tell. I think to call the race was the right decision as it was very dangerous out there. I started the race behind the Safety Car and it was undriveable out there; we were hydroplaning in third gear. It’s unfortunate for the fans we didn’t get to race and it’s phenomenal of them to hang around, still here in pit lane after the race. It’s the most fantastic place in the world to come and race – it’s a great honor to be here in Fuji.”
MAURIZIO MEDIANI, No. 57 Krohn Racing Ferrari F458 GTE-Am: “The conditions were very bizarre today. At a certain point I thought the rain wasn’t too much but still there was a lot of water on the circuit. I think the asphalt is a particular type which doesn’t drain the water so much. There are different levels (undulations) and the water flows down always so it’s very wet. I think it was the right decision to stop the race but it was really hard from the point of view of the driver to be ready, to stop, to be ready again and to stop again. I’m more tired now than when I am driving.”
From Krohn Racing press release
Photo: OYAMA-CHO (SHINOZUKA PREFECTURE, JAPAN), FUJI INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY, 6 HOURS OF FUJI, SUNDAY 20 OCTOBER 2013, RACE.