Late entry into the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Krohn Racing, are ready to go for the race after completing all the necessary steps in qualifying and practice. The team were invited to attend the race in the dying days before action kicked off yet still managed to get a car, a team of drivers and all the necessary logistics arranged.
Tracy Krohn leads the driver line up for the car joined by Nic Jonsson and Ben Collins, all of whom completed their night laps without issue during the qualifying sessions. Despite the delays, the stoppages and the fact the team missed the test day, they still managed to qualify 16th in LM GTE Am ahead of the #70 Team Taisan Ferrari, the #67 IMSA Performance Matmut Porsche and one of the army of AF Corse entered 458s.
The fastest time for the car came during the final, extended qualifying session. Despite the appearance of yellow flags and a long slow zone between Arnage and the Porsche Curves, a 4m 01.066 put them 44 hundredths of a second ahead of the Taisan car.
Team owner and driver of the #57 458 Italia GTE Tracy Krohn commented, “The first session we didn’t quite get the set up right, it was a little too soft. We stiffened it up for the later session and the car was much better, it was like night and day. After coming out of Turn 1, I felt we had different tires on the car. It was much better after we started running a different set up. However, there was a lot going on, I couldn’t get a clean lap with all the yellows and the cars in the wall but clearly the handling was better. It felt good to get out there. We have a race car and we’re here.”
The car kept its nose clean during the daylight qualifying session in Thursday. Ben Collins described the procedure the team adopted during the run up to the big race. “We missed a lot of running yesterday with the red flags so I got to do a nice 10 laps in the first qualifying session today. It was very comfortable, the car felt great. It felt it’s best at that point and that’s probably how we’ll race the car. Everyone else was doing their qualifying runs, which we didn’t really seem to get too involved with. Some people were hitting a lot of kerbs and taking a lot of track and hitting the wall to do their times and we just got set with what we needed to do. Nic did a great job and Tracy did some consistent laps as will so I think we’re pretty well set.“
Hayden Burvill, race engineer for the team added, “With the limited amount of run time, missing a test day, means that we had to rely on a lot of data from other people, and some of it was not on the same trajectory of the car that we’ve been running this year. I don’t think it was disadvantageous at all. The people who helped us were well qualified to give us good data, and we’ve had help form our technical partners like Risi Competizione and Michelotto. We’ve had trouble free running in the sessions. We’ve not been able to use all the track time available to us, because there’s been a lot of red flags, but we’ve done our best to make the most of it. We haven’t had any incidents on the track or any problems with the car in terms of durability or preparation, which is great given the compressed timeframe we were in. Working with Ben for the first time, we’ve discovered what he needs and Tracy and Nic have fallen into their routine. It’s their ninth time here, and it’s not surprising that a lot of the things that would probably distract less experienced Le Mans drivers, they’re comfortable with, and that makes my job easier. We’re satisfied with the race condition of the car. We haven’t used any of our pressure soft tires; we know some of the people we’re racing against have. So we’re in good shape, we’ve got all our soft tires. We’ve got a car that we know is stable under a whole variety of conditions for all three drivers, and of course, if we had had more time, we always think we could do a better job, but we’re ready to race.”