Krohn Racing will make a last-minute trip to the 24 Hours of Le Mans, having accepted an invitation from the ACO to join the GTE Am class.
Krohn’s squad replaces Strakka Racing, which has had to pullout of the race as its new Dome Strakka S103 Nissan sustained damage in testing.
“It happened on the first day’s running at Eau Rouge and if you leave the track there, it is going to result in damage,” said Strakka team manager Karl Patman. “Danny Watts was driving at the time. Crucially, he’s absolutely fine but we don’t have the time to be able to assess, repair the car and acquire sufficient spares in time. It has been a tight programme and this put any chance of competing out of the window.”
As for Krohn, the veteran GTE squad slots into the 19-car GTE Am category with its trademark “Krohn green” Ferrari F458 Italia. The usual pair of Tracy Krohn and Nic Jonsson will be joined by Ben Collins, the former “Stig” who is rated a Silver driver.
“We could not be happier to receive this invitation from the ACO to race at Le Mans again this year. It will be the ninth year for Nic and I and we are excited to have Ben (Collins) joining us,” Tracy Krohn said in a release.
“We’ve got plenty to do in the next couple of weeks to get our car prepared and to ACO specs but we’ll do it and be ready for race week. Normally, we would say that we have our sights set on victory, but with all candor, at this point we are just really, really happy to be on the grid! We can’t wait to get out on the track!”
Due to the lateness of the appointment, the Krohn car won’t be making the Le Mans test day this weekend but will be in Le Mans by June 9, the date of its scrutineering appointment.
We’ve written before about Daniel Ricciardo’s love of Dale Earnhardt and his love of the No. 3, which Ricciardo has selected as his permanent number for the duration of his Formula 1 career. And additionally, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has offered up the opportunity that one day Ricciardo could race a JR Motorsports car in NASCAR Xfinity Series competition, and Ricciardo has said he’d be up for it.
And although Earnhardt Jr. has only used the No. 3 on a handful of occasions in his career in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Ricciardo knows how much the number means to the NASCAR veteran as he prepares for his final few starts in the Cup Series the tail-end of this year.
After the Mexican Grand Prix next week, Ricciardo is set to stay in North America for the off-week between the Mexican and Brazilian Grands Prix.
In that break, he said he’ll see Earnhardt Jr. in person at the Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway (Sunday, Nov. 5, 2 p.m. ET, NBCSN) to ensure he gets to see him before he retires from full-time competition.
Ricciardo explained his planning during Thursday’s pre-race edition of the NBC Sports Group original digital series Paddock Pass, speaking to NBCSN’s Will Buxton at the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas in Austin.
“Well I’ll see him for the first time in Dallas. I’m gonna go to the NASCAR race in two weeks time at Texas Motor Speedway,” Ricciardo told NBCSN.
“Yeah, so, I gotta see him race before he hangs up the helmet.
“The Earnhardt family is a huge name in motorsport, not only in America but all over the world. Yeah I wish him well.”
Ricciardo is also optimistic he’ll get the chance to do a helmet swap with Earnhardt Jr. at the event.
“Hopefully I get to see him perform well in Texas. I’m gonna try to do a helmet swap with him. We’ll see how we go.”
Stay tuned for more on this over the coming weeks.