First of all I need to apologize to all you people who always are very supportive and kind to me, for not keeping you posted of my life on my web site!. SORRY!
With just one race left of the 2011 season (China, Zhuhai) second week of November, I can start to look back at a very successful and fun season.
I’ve been very fortunate to been surrounded by very skilled and talented people who has made this season a very successful and memorable year for me, Been fortunate to have had 2 full time programs on my calendar is a blessing on it’s own, and on top of that being in the ILMC with the Krohn racing team and in the Continental Tire Series with My Kinetic Motorsports makes it even sweeter.
But before going in to that, making this very busy schedule to work, it has been a huge sacrifice and support from my lovely and fantastic wife along with my sons Max and Hugo, Thank you so very much for your understanding and support. I LOVE YOU.
Going in to the 2011 season I had a great deal of confidence in both my race programs, The ILMC with Krohn racing and my full time Co-Driver Tracy Krohn had put together a really exciting program, (the Inter Continental Lemans Cup) This is a International race series that is racing both in USA, Europe and Asia, We had entered a Ferrari 430 GT 2 car in the GTE-Am class for the season, the year started really good with our and my first ever win at the 12 Hour of Sebring, this is one of the big classic races you want to win as a pro racer. The next race on the schedule was the Historical SPA race track in Belgium, I had not been there since the early 1990’s in F3, we had a good few days leading up to the race being the fastest car, we also ran very good and competitive when Tracy got hit about 2 hours in to the race, this took our hopes away of winning, but we scored some valuable points.
Next of, was the BIG 24 hours of Le Mans in France, we had been there 5 times before with a lot of success with several podium finishes, so we were excited about this one, we had a lot of engine related problems in practice and qualifying so we did not qualify great, but know we had a good handling and fast car for the race, and sure enough, we moved to the front a few hours in and was in cruising mode early in the morning when the engine blow up with out any warning or reason, To bad!!
We had a few other races with lots of electrical and engine related issues before heading back to the states for Petit Le Mans on our home turf, the Krohn racing team is based at the track, so we have a lot of laps around this place, we had a very fast and good car all weekend, the key to success was to stay out of trouble and run a clean consistent race, we did and came home with the Victory!! This is also considered being one of the biggest races in the World every year. Fantastic feeling and result for us.
My Kinetic Motorsports entered 2 KIA Forte Koup’s for the second year ever in the Grand-am Continental tire series. We had put in a lot of work over the winter to hope to be competitive! We had already had several top 5 finishes the first year ever for KIA in any type of Pro racing, so we know we had a good platform to work from.
The first race of the year was in Daytona, this was not a track that would suit us very well against the Turbo and Super Charged cars in the ST class, but with a little bit of luck and running a smart and consistent race , we came a way with a very surprising 2:nd place and our ever first podium finish in KIA Motors very short racing history, you can imagine how surprising and welcome that was back at the HQ in both California and Korea.
With this in the bag we know we had a strong car for the year, but had to keep developing it, so we had a very comprehensive test and development program in place, we stayed very focused at our program and goal for the year, to WIN a race, this was a huge task just the second year of being in racing as a manufacturer.
The 3:rd race of the year was Barber Motorsports Park, and this was a track we had success at the first year and know suited our car, so we prepared ourselves with 2 days of testing a few weeks prior and came away with very good results, We were in the top 3 every session in practice, but did not have a great qualifying 16:th. But the car was great in race trim and we managed to move up in the field and had a great wheel to wheel battle for the last 30 min to come away with KIA Motors first ever win. Now we had to start looking to see if we could give this a even better chance than just win one race, you got it, become a Championship contender. ? But our focus remained the same, to have good solid race results and we see were we are a few races from the end, 3 races to go, we are in the Championship lead both (Driver and team) So now we really have a great shot at the Championship after several great results including another win at Road America between Barber and the last 3 races.
Going in to the last race in Mid-Ohio I was leading by 3 points to the #75 Honda, 9 points to the # 198 Mini Cooper and 16 to the # 171 VW. I had to make sure I did not have more than 1 car between me and the Honda and 3 cars between me and the Mini to win the Championship.
We had a very good and fast car all weekend, in the top 3 every session including Qualifying. So the focus and task was to maintain my points lead, we had a solid good car through the race and were able to stay with in the needed positions of our opposition, The Kinetic Crew had done a phenomenal job all year giving me and Michael a very reliable and fast race car, and it was no difference this time.
So I was able to respond to what ever my opposition was doing and run right with them with out taking any risk. We sat 2:nd with a great car and chance of winning the race about 10 min to go, ahead of our points contenders, but we decided to back of and don’t take any chances of getting involved with other cars that were just trying to achieve a good race result.
To be able to deliver a Driver and Team CHAMPIONSHIP to KIA MOTORS only the second year of the program makes it very special for me both as a driver , but also as a team owner, I cant say enough about our Kinetic crew, they have all put a lot of time and efforts in to the CHAMPIONSHIP WIN, and as the saying says, it’s always a woman behind every successful man!!, In this case (IT”S A FAMILY BEHIND every one of our employees) that are a very big part of this success and CHAMPIONSHIP!! A big THANK YOU TO ALL OF YOU!!! This was a pure TEAM EFFORT!!
On a personal Note: My son Max turned 4 years old this summer, and I feel like I’m the luckiest man on earth having him and my wife Helene stand behind me in everything I do.
Max is very much in to cars and love to come to the races, it was very special to me since both him and Helene was at both Barber for my first win with KIA and also for the win at Petit Le Mans.
I also had both my Parents at Petit Le Mans, it was great a great feeling for me to see their satisfaction and be able to remember the days when we used to travel across Europe and winning races together, I could never had achieved what I been able to do with out all their support over the years.
I’m very excited and looking forward to start soccer with Max this winter along with some other sports we can do together, The Go-Kart will have to wait for another year or so, Yes it’s already sitting in the shop, so he will get a chance to try when he’s old enough!!!!
Well I know this was a rather long update , but I felt I owed my fans this !! who’s always very kind and supportive of what I do! THANK YOU!! Hope you don’t get to bored reading it?? LOL!! I promise to be more frequent in my updates.
Till Next Time, Be careful and take care of each other.
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