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JONSSON: Road Atlanta Debrief

Krohn Racing’s Nic Jonsson files his latest Sportscar365 column…

Photo: IMSA

Photo: IMSA

The 2014 TUDOR Championship inaugural season has come to an end with the Petit Le Mans race this past weekend.

Petit is a very special and important race and place to me for several different reasons. It’s one of the most prestigious sports car races in the world every year and I’ve done it nine times, including this year.

I also live locally and do a lot of testing at Road Atlanta, so it’s my home track and all that comes with that – having friends and family at the race to be able to show them and understand what I do close up, while traveling the world all year.

We had a very good handling car from almost the beginning of the weekend. This is because we came to the track and tested before COTA, which was very beneficial, especially since Friday practice was rained out.

The Krohn crew had done a great job, as always, preparing the car, but despite this we were faced with some brake problems that became a head scratcher the whole weekend. We experienced lack of maximum brake efficiency that made it hard to drive the way you normally do.

You have to be much more cautious around other cars and give yourself a cushion in all braking zones to make sure you’re not running into someone. But when you have done a stint or so you get used to it and really don’t think about it much any more.

We had a good solid run with both my teammates, Tracy Krohn and Andrea Bertolini, doing a great job all day long.

The biggest challenge of all was the slower LMPC cars that had some very inexperienced drivers in the cars. This caused lots of yellow flag situations, along with unnecessary contact between cars. It’s great to see the enthusiasm from AM drivers to wanting to join endurance racing, but I wish that there was some sort of qualifications to be able to enter such big races as Petit, Daytona 24, Sebring 12 hours, etc. It’s not just the yellow and caution periods; it’s even more important to think about the safety factor if you do not have the experience to compete at this level.

There was a great crowd all the way around the track. You could see it especially going down the esses, right in front of your exit of Turn Five, up on the hill. It’s great to see the interest and enthusiasm sports car racing creates around Petit every year. This makes it very special as a driver to see and feel all the support from the fans.

I feel very lucky and fortunate to be able to do what I do, and I want to thank all you fans for all the support we receive across the globe. We could not do it without all you fans and all the volunteers, such as corner workers, etc.

Thank you very much and I hope to see you at the tracks next year again.

Be careful 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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