He crashed on Friday and won on Saturday: Jesse Krohn had something to make up for going into the second VLN race of the season, and did so with fervor. With a strategically superb race he and team-mate Connor De Phillippi brought the number 99 Rowe Racing BMW M6 GT3 home to victory.
“I had to redeem myself today,” Krohn says.
“It was a great repair job by the team, they got it finished overnight very late. They didn’t get much sleep yet still performed today. This win is for them, they deserve it after doing such a great job with the car.”
Looking back on the race, Krohn admits that even though most of it went their way today, not everything did throughout the four hours of racing. Shortly after the young Finn took over from De Phillippi, he suddenly found himself in 12th place. Despite this, he quickly moved forward and by delaying his final pitstop until close to the end he jumped the number 14 Black Falcon Mercedes-AMG GT3 for the win.
“It’s not often at the Nürburgring that you get weather like this and everything basically goes our way.
“We did have some bad luck at one point during the race with some Code 60s where we lost quite a lot of time and we ended up P12. We had to come from the back and fight our way though.
“But we had a great car, a great strategy and the team did a great job. Connor gave me the car in a great position—what more can you ask for?”
In the morning, however, things looked quite differently at the front-end of the field. Manthey Racing occupied the front row of the grid after both their cars lapped under the elusive 8-minute barrier.
“Honestly,” the BMW works driver says, “they had a great pace and did an excellent job in qualifying. We had absolutely no chance to match their pace in qualifying.
“The only thing we knew that we could do was to have a clean race, be clever with the strategy and most importantly, stay out of trouble and bring it home. That’s what we did. The Porsche unfortunately got caught up in an accident which made our job a bit easier, but overall I think we did a better job as a team today.”
Like in VLN1, the sun was out and shining, warming up the Eifel much more than two weeks ago with the temperatures touching the higher 10s. This helped the Michelin-shod BMW M6 GT3 perform better.
“I think this weather suited us a bit more. We were able to switch on the tyre a bit better. Somehow it came to us a bit more with the setup.
“After VLN1 we were able to do some work on the car and get it right, so I think today the weather was good for us.”
Besides being a regular at the Nürburgring, in recent years Krohn has also found his way to the American racetracks, this year driving BMW’s new M8 GTE beast in the IMSA Sports Car Championship. This upcoming weekend he’s back for the Long Beach Grand Prix.
“It’s going well—but we had some bad luck in Sebring. We got caught up in some shit and basically had to retire the car with damage. It is what it is, but it’s unfortunate because we had a good race car, a good pace, and were leading the race early on.
“Overall, we’re starting to find out the performance and potential of the car, it’s starting to become good there.”