Jesse Krohn believes that ROWE Racing is heading in the right direction following an improved showing from the BMW M6 GT3s last weekend at Brands Hatch.
The Finn scored a second-place finish in the Qualifying Race and fourth in the Main Race at the British round of the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup.
This has moved Krohn and his co-driver Markus Palttala up to third in the Sprint Cup drivers’ standings and fifth in the overall Blancpain GT Series standings, despite missing the Monza round in favor of the Nürburgring 24 Qualifying Race.
To top it off, Krohn was the fastest driver in the Free Practice sessions at Brands Hatch, showcasing a marked improvement for the M6 GT3.
“We’re getting everything together with the BMW, and sorting out the problems we had been having last year and earlier on in the season,” he told Sportscar365.
Krohn does attribute some of this success to the track, saying that the Kent circuit is one that suits the BMW well owing to its several fast and flowing corners.
“The track suits the car well,” he said. “Sometimes we have a little problem getting the car around tight corners but here we have a lot of quick and flowing corners where our car is very strong.
“I like the track, it’s a legendary track, and it’s always nice to come here.”
He says that success at Brands has certainly set the team in a new direction, and although he might not be challenging for wins yet, 2017 is already going much better than last season.
“We want to win races but we’re not there yet,” he explained. “We want to have top-three positions in Qualifying more often, and we’re improving every race so it’s looking good.
“The direction is right and we just have to keep going and keep pushing to make it happen.
“Overall, we’ve just improved. Last year was the first year for the car, so obviously it takes some time to get everything right, to find a nice pace with the setup and work on the drivetrain and driver aids.
“It’s made a big difference for this year.”
The car may have won the Total 24 Hours of Spa last year, but it was the only win in an otherwise challenging Blancpain GT season.
“Last year we had a little bit of help from BoP because we were nowhere and we took the whole year to get any help on that side,” Krohn said.
“The only win for the car was the 24 Hours of Spa, and other than that we haven’t done well in Blancpain GT Sprint or Endurance otherwise.
“We were struggling last year here [at Brands Hatch], even though this was one of our strongest tracks, but still we were struggling to make a top-ten.
“This year it’s a different story. It’s the right direction and we’re improving day by day.”
It was a busy off-season for Krohn, who raced the M6 GT3 in the Asian Le Mans Series and the Blancpain GT Series Asia, as well as the Rolex 24 at Daytona and Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.
He said this extra track time has been very useful in preparing him for the European season.
While FIST – Team AAI initially only entered the first round of the Blancpain GT Asia series, Krohn is hoping he can still add further Asian races to his schedule this year.
“It always helps when you have a lot of time in the car, driving different tracks, with different tires in different series,” he explained.
“It’s good to be in the car all the time and it keeps you with it. It’s gone well so far and we already have one podium from Blancpain GT Asia. It’s going well and let’s hope we can keep it going.”
It was also a good weekend for BMW elsewhere, with a double podium scored by BMW Team RLL at Circuit of The Americas.
This was something that put Krohn into a good mood ahead of Sunday’s Blancpain GT races.
“It’s good to see that overall it’s not BMW only improving in this series but overall we’re improving,” he said.
“It’s good to see and it’s promising, with a lot of hard work from the guys at the factory, putting testing hours in and improving the car so we can do well wherever we go.”