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JONSSON: Daytona Test Debrief

Krohn Racing’s Nic Jonsson files his first Sportscar365 column of the year…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

The 2013 season hardly came to an end before we started a new racing year in Daytona with the Roar Before the 24.

Krohn Racing did not compete in any of the North American Championships the past three years, with the exception of a few one-off races such the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona in different cars, along with the 12 Hours of Sebring, Petit Le Mans, and the race at COTA. We have been racing regularly in the WEC the past two seasons and the ILMC in 2011.

For the 2014 season, Krohn Racing has decided it’s time to take a look at the U.S. racing market again and we’ve made a commitment to run 6 races in the newly formed TUDOR United SportsCar Championship in the GT Le Mans class with our Ferrari 458 GTE car.

This is going to be a very exciting challenge for the whole team to be back in the States competing on familiar tracks against the very competitive factory teams from all over the world.

Tracy and I are beginning our 11th year of racing together, so it’s almost a new start for us with moving our home base for the race team operations to Houston, Texas.

Our first outing to prepare for this season was this past weekend in Daytona. One of our main goals was to get some data with the Ferrari 458. We have never raced this car at Daytona, so it was very useful to get in the three days of testing.

We learned a lot working with our new Race Engineer (Hayden Burvil), who’s the lead engineer for the No. 57 car for the entire season. We went through a whole bunch of test items and every single change we made improved the car’s handling and lap time.

We know it’s going to be a very competitive and tough race at Daytona and our plan is to get a well-balanced car that we can put anywhere on the track. With all the cars in the field, there’s going to be a lot of traffic.

It’s going to be very important to maintain a good speed, but at the same time be smart and take care of your car. Teams that stay out of trouble and have their car in one piece when the sun comes up Sunday morning will be in a good position for a great result.

We are pleased with our test and looking forward to having Andrea Bertolini and Peter Dumbreck as our co-drivers for the 24-hour event. Both Andrea and Peter are very experienced and good endurance drivers, so we feel we have a great line up and a great team behind us going into the race.

I’m looking forward to a great Daytona 24 and a great 2014 season. Hope to see you all at the track!

Be safe and take care of each other.

Nic Jönsson is a former Swedish F3 and Group N Touring Car champion and current sports car star, with numerous international victories to his credit. He drives for Krohn Racing in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and European Le Mans Series.

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