American squad Krohn Racing secured an encouraging fourth place finish at the opening round of the European Le Mans Series.
The #40 Ligier JS P2 Judd of Tracy Krohn, Nic Jonsson and Oswaldo Negri Jr was the only non-Nissan powered entry in the prototype field, but was able to hold its own in a frenetic four hour race.
After punctures in the Friday practice sessions set the team back, owner-driver Krohn was given the opportunity to qualify the car on Saturday morning in order to maximise his time in the car.
Negri Jr started the race from 10th on the grid and quickly progressed through the LMP2 field. With around 40 minutes gone the Brazilian driver had moved up to fifth place after passing the #33 Eurasia Motorsport ORECA on the Hangar Straight. Negri Jr then handed the car over to Krohn for the middle stint, with the American squad looking to consolidate its high position.
“I’m very happy for the team,” said Negri Jr after the race. “The way they worked and fixed the problems that we had, I’m just extremely impressed. I think we debuted strong here and I’m just exceedingly happy.”
Krohn stayed out of trouble during his mid-race stint, handing the now 7th-placed Ligier over to long-time team-mate Jonsson for the final 90 minutes. The Swedish driver completed his double stint without trouble, bringing the car back through the order for an impressive fourth place finish.
Team manager Gary Holland was pleased with the team’s performance in its ELMS debut, “All three drivers drove superb stints. I think we should be very pleased with where we are as this was a solid start. As previous European Le Mans Series have proven, the key is to finish every race in the first instance, and hopefully we’ll get stronger moving on to the next event at Imola.”
Krohn Racing will return for the second round of the championship at Imola on May 17.