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Ganassi Team Makes Point, Krohn Wins Race at The Glen

John Sturbin | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Friday, August 7 2009
Ricardo Zonta

Ricardo Zonta

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com

Watkins Glen, N.Y. – Daytona Prototype aces Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas are points-racing.  And with only three events remaining on the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series schedule, they’re not apologizing.

A second-place finish to Krohn Racing’s Nic Jonsson and Ricardo Zonta in Friday’s Crown Royal 200 at The Glen allowed Pruett and Rojas to break out of a first-place deadlock with archrivals Jon Fogarty and Alex Gurney. Pruett and Rojas emerged from the season’s shortest race with a miniscule four-point lead heading into Round 10 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal on Aug. 29.

Jonsson and Zonta wheeled team-owner Tracy Krohn’s trademark lime green No. 76 Ford Lola to a 3.325-second victory over the No. 01 TELMEX Lexus Riley fielded by Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates.

“They ran great,” Pruett said of the Krohn teammates. “And they can be a lot more aggressive. We’re in a points race but they had a great car. From our point of view, we did exactly what we had to do. Every point counts – every single point – and you’ve got to get every one you can without getting in harm’s way.”

Fogarty qualified the No. 99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Pontiac Riley on-pole Thursday afternoon. But Fogarty managed to lead only the first five laps en route to a fourth-place finish. Zonta took the lead for keeps from Mark Wilkins on Lap 73 and paced the final 21 circuits, a period that included a restart on Lap 76 of 93 after the race’s fourth and final caution.

“It was very difficult to hold (off) Scott,” said Zonta, of Brazil. “I had to risk a lot to overtake the traffic. One of the problems we had on the (final) restart was to warm the tires. When I touched the brakes on the first corner I felt a lot of vibration. Scott was very close to me but from the restart to the end I had a lot of vibration.”

“We had to do a conservative strategy, for the points for the championship,” Rojas said. “We wanted to win, but for the points it’s fine. I’m happy were on the podium.”

Jonsson, of Sweden, qualified eighth on a track where he and his team have enjoyed considerable success. Jonsson won the 2005 Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen and Krohn Racing now has three DP victories here – all on the NASCAR-inspired short-course.

Krohn Racing also won the series’ rain-plagued Round 3 at New Jersey Motorsports Park on May 3.

“We’ve had an up-and-down season,” Jonsson said. “We’ve made mistakes in the pits and driver error sometimes. We’re still struggling a little bit with certain tracks, but we’re testing and developing new parts. Hopefully, this will legitimatize us. Hopefully, we can continue to race with the front-runners.”

Scott Tucker and Frenchman Christophe Bouchut ran third in the No. 55 SuperCar Life Racing BMW Riley. The GT victory went to Emil Assentato and Jeff Segal in the No. 69 SpeedSource FXDD Mazda RX-8.

– John Sturbin can be reached at jsturbin@racintoday.com

John Sturbin | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Friday, August 7 2009
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