3 years after starting race car driving, in which the highlight was winning the 2005 Six Hours of the Glen with Niclas Jönsson in the Grand Am series, Tracey W Krohn founded his own Grand Am team in late 2005 and started competing in the at the 2006 Daytona 24 hours.
Success was immediate as Krohn team driver Jörg Bergmeister won the drivers championship and Krohn Racing finished second in the top DP division of the championship. Right from the start Krohn Racing also ran a parallel GT program mostly at Le Mans with Risi Competizione running Ferrari’s.
Since 2011 Krohn Racing has run it’s own GT programme to compete in the US and European Le Mans series, which in Europe last year became the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). Krohn Racing started competing in the GTE Am class of the WEC last year with today’s featured car the Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 chassis #2844 that this year has been driven by Tracey, Swede Niclas Jönsson with whom he won the Watkins Glen six hours and former Russian Formula 3 Open Wheel champion Maurizio Mediani.
There seems to be some confusion about the name of this model with various sources quoting it as a GTC others including Krohn Racing’s own website calling it an F458 GTE however the Ferrari website calls the model a GT2 which is good enough for me. If you know different chime in below.
Based on the stunning Ferrari 458 Italia road car the GT2 differs with it’s more aggressive aerodynamic aids, however like the road car it has power steering, air conditioning to keep the cockpit temperatures tolerable and perhaps most surprisingly electric mirrors.
Power from the 4.5 litre / 274.6 cui V8 is restricted by air intake restrictor plates that means the motor produces a maximum 465hp at 6,250 rpm down from 562hp at 9,000 rpm in the road car.
#2844 is seen here at the recent 6 Hours of Silverstone where the team came home 25th overall and 6th in class. Since then the car has competed at the Spa 6 Hours where the team came home 28th overall and 8th in class and at the Le Mans test where Will and Maurizio recorded 61st fastest time.
The chassis final appearance was at the Le Mans 24 hours where during the opening day of practice Will, as Tracey is known, skidded off the track in the Dunlop Curves and wrecked the €480,000 / US$ 628,000 car fortunately with out any injury to himself.
By 11pm that night Krohn Racing had concluded a deal with Edelcriss Racing in Northern Italy to lease a their racing 458 chassis. Only problem was it was a more powerful GT3 spec car and it was 1,100 miles away. The Edelcriss Racing transporter set off with the car for a 15 hour sprint to Le Mans.
When it arrived it was promptly stripped and refettled to GT2 spec using all of the salvageable parts from #2844 a task which took a team of ten technicians 9 hours and some 500 Zip (cable) ties.
The new car was ready to roll for the Thursday qualification session in which Le Mans rookie Maurizio had yet to complete 5 laps in order to qualify.
The car made it to the grid but had to retire at 1am after another accident at the Porsche Curves left the new car stranded out on the track.
All of Krohn Racing troubles were put into perspective when they learned that fellow GTE Am competitor Allan Simonsen, seen above leading the Krohn Ferrari in the #95 Aston Martin, was killed in after a crash during the opening laps of the Le Mans 24 hours after he left the circuit at Tetre Rouge.
An appreciation of Allan’s life will be appearing in tomorrow’s blog.
Thanks for joining me on this ’90 Hours and 500 Zip Ties’ edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”. I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !