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JONSSON: Monterey Debrief

Krohn Racing’s Nic Jonsson checks into Sportscar365…

Photo: IMSA

Photo: IMSA

The Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix was this past weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, and this was the third event for Krohn Racing on the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship schedule, as we’re running a partial schedule this year.

We didn’t compete in the last GT Le Mans race at Long Beach, so this weekend was the first race for us since our fourth place finish at the 12 hours of Sebring in March.

Coming from Sebring, where we had a very satisfying result as the only privateer in the GTLM class, we felt very optimistic going into the event at Mazda Raceway.

It’s very challenging to compete against the factory-backed teams in the very competitive GTLM field, but at the same time, it’s greatly rewarding when you see how competitively you can run against those cars.

Unfortunately, we had just two hours of track time before qualifying and the race, so we really had to get through setup changes and tweaks of the car quickly and efficiently.

Our engineer and crew guys did a great job making the changes we needed to have the best possible balance of the car for the race. We also played around with some tire pressures on our Michelin tires, and they performed well and lasted in the race.

For Tracy and I, this race was more about keeping the momentum from Sebring and making sure we had a well-balanced car to run a consistent and well-planned race. Since this race was just a two-hour race, we decided to try to run the entire two hours with just one pit stop.

We figured that if we ran hard the whole time and didn’t get a yellow flag period, we could not make the whole distance with our one-stop strategy.

So our plan was for Tracy to qualify and start the race, and to hand the car over to me about 50 minutes in. Tracy did an absolutely fantastic job and performed without any mistakes, and he had very respectable and consistent lap times throughout his whole run.

Tracy handed off a great car in good shape, and we started to run on a full fuel map for my first 25 minutes. We ran very competitively with the other cars.

Since we did not know what the other teams had planned as far as fuel strategy, we had to dial our engine back to save fuel as we had planned, to make sure we make it to the end without having to stop for extra fuel.

When we switched over to a fuel conservation map, we lost a little performance but still ran well with a great handling car. The whole team did a great job all week and gave us a safe, reliable, and well-balanced car to drive.

We are very pleased with the overall performance of the week, and really looking forward to Watkins Glen, which is our next race in the IMSA TUDOR championship.

Till then, be safe.

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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