Le Castellet, France (September 6, 2015)...Krohn Racing decided to mix it up a bit for Round 4 of 5 of the 2015 FIA European Le Mans Series (ELMS) at the 4 Hours of Le Castellet race at the Paul Ricard circuit. Team owner/driver Tracy W. Krohn invited Frenchman Olivier Pla to rejoin he and longtime teammate Nic Jonsson in the cockpit for the penultimate round.
Early practice sessions on Saturday allowed Pla to add his experience in both the Ligier and at the Paul Ricard circuit to the only American ELMS team on the grid. He was fastest in Saturday's Free Practice and assisted greatly in the team's set up for the challenging ELMS series race.
Texan Krohn qualified the car this morning in the 10th starting position and started the 4-hour Le Castellet, France race. Jonsson, who drove second and a double stint was able to elevate the fan-favorite green-and-blue liveried Ligier JSP2-Judd before turning it over to Pla.
Pla continued to advance the No. 40 Krohn Racing LMP2 class race car to fifth place on the 5.861 kilometers/3.64 mile Southern France circuit at the checkered flag.
The Houston, Texas-based Krohn Racing finish in the Top Five in the three previous ELMS four-hour races (fourth at Silverstone and fifth at Imola) with Krohn and Jonsson paired with Oswaldo (Ozz) Negri, Jr. They also finished fifth at the 4 Hours of Red Bull Ring paired with Julien Canal. Krohn Racing maintains fourth place in the LMP2 Team Championship with their fourth Top-Five finish today.
TRACY W. KROHN, Krohn Racing Team Owner/Driver:
"It was very exciting track and race. Qualifying really helped me learn the track a bit more. We just didn't find enough laps in the practice with getting the car set up. I thought my stint went well, other than a little spin at Turn 4 but got it back on my own quickly. The weather was perfect, the track magnificent and the car good. I thought we did a credible job today. Nic did a very good job and Oli was spectacular. He was as quick as anyone out there, a real talent, no drama, and very fast! We struggled a little bit with the tires and had to drive it a little bit differently but had no mechanical or electrical problems either. We'd like to stay with the Michelin tires and continue to improve them. Hopefully Michelin has the same idea.
We have asked Olivier to join us again at Estoril for finale. It was great having him with us and I'm continually amazing by his talent."
NIC JONSSON, Krohn Racing, Driver:
"It was great to get the season kicked off again here at Paul Ricard after another long summer break. I think the Krohn Ligier-Judd powered car was pretty good today. The Michelin tires performed really well. We were a little worried about the front tires to not hold up during a double stint in the middle of the day. I was actually very positive and surprised how well we were able to run and lead the pace for most of the time. All in all, I think a Top Five again has to be something we need to be happy with. We just need to go and do a little bit better in the finale round in a month or so in Estoril and hopefully we can get the car up on the podium before the season is over."
OLIVIER PLA, Krohn Racing, Driver:
"It was a good race. I think we showed really good pace. For my two stints at the end of the race the car was very good. We found some good adjustments and we keep improving the car. I was pretty happy with the car and with the Michelin tires."
GARY HOLLAND, Krohn Racing, Team Manager:
“We can call this race weekend reasonably successful; we were fault free from a car and team point of view and as such have further enhanced our fourth place in the championship. All three drivers drive well and we look forward to carrying the momentum into Estoril.”
The final race for Krohn Racing and final round on the ELMS schedule is the 4 Hours of Estoril in Estoril, Portugal, October 17-18.