Nic Jonsson And Kinetic Speed Shop
Looking To The Future
© Gary Horrocks

dailysportscar.comNic Jonsson is one of those good guys in racing who, for whatever reason, has never gotten the real big break. But, instead of whining or complaining, Nic decided to do something about it.

After running with PTG in the 2001 ALMS season, Nic was found in the paddock at Daytona in 2002, snooping around, looking for a drive. The plug had been pulled on the controversial V8-powered M3, owing to the long running controversy between the ACO and BMW, so there was Nic, without a ride, very late in the game. Out of this, came a ride in the Rand Lola for the 2002 season, as well as drives in the Speed Touring and GT classes.

A bizarre series of events led him to a drive with Tracy Krohn in the best forgotten Lamborghini effort in the 2004 ALMS season. It was through this partnership that Tracy came to respect Nic for his driving and coaching ability.

dailysportscar.comThis partnership paid off handsomely this last (2005) season, where Nic and Tracy were able to post wins in both the Daytona Prototype class and the Grand Am Rolex Cup series. This was on top of finishing a strong and surprising second in a GT2 class effort at Sebring (with J3).

“Right now, I’m considering a few offers for this next season. I have a few chances to run in Daytona Prototypes and also one for Indy cars. I’ve worked hard to establish myself in sports cars and that is where my future is long term, so we’ll see. I figure at my age, I’ve only got a couple of years to run open wheel cars, but I’ve still got quite some time left here in sports cars.”

Among those offers is of course one from Tracy Krohn, who has recently parted ways with the Kevin Buckler led TRG organization. Tracy bought the equipment for the Daytona Prototype effort and hired TRG to run it, but has decided to go in a different direction for 2006.

Besides decisions such as these, Nic also has a new business venture, which he and his partner, Russell Smith decided to take on. It is called Kinetic Speed Shop, ( and is based in the Atlanta / Road Alanta area.

“This new venture came about as a result of Russell wanting to go racing. Instead of buying the car and hiring someone to run it for him, I suggested that we form a team. Instead of giving the money to somebody to run the effort, keep it in house, and use it to start up our venture.” What they have now is, according to their brochure “a one-stop shop solution for the auto-sport industry needs. …our unique 42,000 square foot shop combines not only a top quality club and pro race shop, but full fabrication, composite, paint/body, electronics, chassis-dyno, gearbox and shock servicing facilities. We pride ourselves on our client-driven relationships and service of the highest integrity.”

Kinetic Speed Shop is designed to be a full-blown shop that will cater to both the race and street car crowd. “I believe there is a huge market out there, especially for the street cars here in the Atlanta area, and now it is up to us to prove that we can do a good job. We believe in what we are doing and believe that we will be successful in the long term.”

The new effort is a stand alone operation, featuring a fully equipped carbon shop, and is available to support the club racer, street enthusiast as well as the aftermarket.

Right now, besides addressing all of the organizational issues that face a new business, it was decided it was time to get something out in the public to show what Kinetic is capable of. It is from here that the Ford GT that was seen at the recent SEMA show in Las Vegas came about. “The Ford GT came about as a way for us to show what we are capable of – to showcase what we can do. It was an enormous task to get it ready for the show, but we were able to get it done in 10 days.” Make that 10 long days.

As of now, racing a full campaign with the Ford GT will probably not happen, at least in 2006. It’s one thing to pull together a show car, but yet another to have it ready to race. “We are discussing homologation with the World Challenge organization right now. Some of those issues do concern the motor and whether they will allow it to be supercharged as the street car is, or whether it will be normally aspirated. We have quite a bit of work to do on this, but we have already had interest from customers. It won’t be an easy task, and it may take a while to be competitive, but there sure is interest in seeing it on the track. We have a top notch engineer looking at the car right now, and hope to have it on track by late in the season. But if it is not ready, it will not be there. We want to do this right.”

But what about the attitude from Ford, that they did not want to see the GT on the track? “Ford Motorsport still has that same attitude, but there has been interest from Ford Marketing and a few other departments in Ford. As of now, we have denied any support from Ford. We want the direction to be entirely on our own, without any interference. If it works out, then we can consider the support down the road.”

dailysportscar.comAlso seen was a new body style Saleen Mustang. “This one is intended for the Grand Am GT series. It too needs development but is much closer to being race ready. We would like to have it on track this next season, but I would have to say that we are too late to have it race at Daytona in January.”

In his racing career, Nic has always been one who is willing to do what it takes to make things happen. Here is another instance of his unwillingness to sit around and be content with the status quo. By being proactive and placing himself in the right position to take advantage of what is presented to him, Nic is looking towards the future. That should be an example to all of us out there.


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