The game of musical chairs for the rapidly approaching 24 Hours of Le Mans continues, as the Automobile Club de l’Ouest confirmed Tuesday the withdrawal of Strakka Racing from next month’s twice-around-the-clock endurance classic.
Replacing the British squad’s Strakka-Dome S103 Nissan on the 56-car entry list, in a surprise twist, is Krohn Racing, which has been invited back to participate with its Ferrari F458 Italia in GTE-Am.
The Houston-based squad was initially the fifth and final GTE reserve entry, under the Risi Competizione banner, but withdrew in February due to what appeared to be a slim chance of getting a confirmed place on the grid.
However, after a near-record nine withdrawals over the last two months, which depleted its reserve list, the ACO reached out to Krohn late last week and offered a confirmed entry, albeit it last-minute.
Team owner Tracy Krohn and longtime co-driver Nic Jonsson, who will be making their ninth consecutive Le Mans appearance together, will be joined by Silver-rated Ben Collins at the wheel of the No. 57 entry in the now 19-car class.
“We could not be happier to receive this invitation from the ACO to race at Le Mans again this year,” Krohn said. “It will be the ninth year for Nic and I and we are excited to have Ben [Collins] joining us.
“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!”
Collins, who will make his debut with Krohn, was originally due to drive the No. 53 Ram Racing Ferrari but was replaced by Archie Hamilton earlier this month. Krohn becomes the fifth American team in this year’s race.
Strakka, which missed the opening two rounds of the FIA World Endurance Championship, continued its development program was forced to cut short a planned three-day test at Spa last week due to an accident.
After an assessment of the damage, the team elected to pull its entry.
“Strakka Racing would like to apologize to the organizers, technical partners and our fans for both the unfortunate timing and impact of withdrawing from the Le Mans 24 Hours race,” said team founder Nick Leventis.
“Everybody has worked tirelessly to get this car to where it needs to be and we are really sorry that we won’t be out this year. We owe it to everyone involved in the project to make this a success and we will.”
Due to the late notice, Krohn will not participate in this weekend’s Le Mans Test Day, as its Ferrari chassis, which contested three of the opening TUDOR Championship rounds, in the process of being shipped to Michelotto in Italy for required conversions to GTE-Am spec.
The car is scheduled to arrive at Le Mans in time for its June 9 scrutineering appointment.
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