The No. 57 Krohn Racing’s Ferrari F458 GTE-Am team is headed to the Circuit de la Sarthe for the Le Mans Test Days this weekend in preparation for the 80th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, June 16-17.
American team owner/driver Tracy W. Krohn and Italian co-driver Michele Rugolo will handle the driving chores for the test. The duo, along with Krohn regular driver, Nic Jönsson of Sweden, will compete in the 24-hour race. Thirteen GTE-Am cars are entered for the twice-around-the-clock event.
Krohn and Jönsson previously competed at Le Mans on five previous occasions, including four in the Ferrari 430 GT. Two of those races included a trip to the podium, in 2007 in second place, and 2009 in third place in the GT2 class. Rugolo has competed twice, including last year with Krohn Racing. The 2012 year will mark their first attempt at the challenging race at La Sarthe in the Ferrari F458.
The Krohn Racing team is currently placed third in the prestigious FIA World Endurance Championship Trophy of GTE-Am Teams points after two of eight races.
TRACY W. KROHN, Krohn Racing Team Owner/Driver, No. 57 Krohn Racing Ferrari 430 GTE-Am:
You and Michele will be doing the testing for Le Mans this year with the Ferrari F458. What are your goals for the test?
“The Le Mans Test is a great opportunity to get the car dialed in and get needed information for the race. The (Ferrari) 458 is new for us this year at Le Mans so we will take advantage of all the data we collect during the Test to be able to better plan car set-up, tire choices and other information which will assist us in the race.”
Does running at the test help get you in the driving frame better for when you return for race week and the long 24 hour race?
“Certainly it does. Even though the track will change a little and weather conditions will vary, it helps get my mind tuned into the challenging circuit. I don’t do this for a living so for me to have track time at a circuit is always invaluable. At a lengthy and demanding track like Le Mans, it will undoubtedly pay off in the race with my lap times and comfort level.”
JEFF HAZELL, Krohn Racing Motorsports Manager:
You run a scaled down crew and only Tracy and Michele for the test so what are the most important things to accomplish during the Le Mans Test?
“We have the Ferrari F458, which is new to us at this track, so we want to maximize the available track time, hence our attendance. Of our drivers Michele has the most experience of the Ferrari F458 so he will work through our chassis program optimizing the car to the track and gathering information to help us get the most from the range of Dunlop tires, matching options to the track conditions. We have some components to be bedded in for the race week and some items and options on this test that are at the final stages of validation or selection for the 24 hour. The 458 characteristics are sufficiently different from the 430 that we would like to get plenty of track time for Tracy to become familiar with the cars ability here. Whatever the weather conditions, we believe that the data we collect will have validity during the 24 Hours in June.”