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KLD Concept

Postée par admin le Tuesday 21 September 2004 à 18:08


The spectacular Lamborghinis of the Krohn-Barbour Racing team will make their return to the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) this weekend in one of the season?s biggest events, Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, Braselton, Georgia. Returning to action after missing the last two rounds, the Road Atlanta-based team has recruited two additional drivers for this long-distance race: the regular driver pairing of David Brabham and Peter Kox will be supported in the number 5 Lamborghini Murci?lago R-GT by Nic Jonsson, while the number 6 car of Tracy Krohn and Scott Maxwell will also be driven by Joe Fox.

Jonsson, 37, a resident of Buford, Georgia, is a frontrunner in this year?s SCCA SPEED World Challenge Touring Car series. Jonsson also drove the Krohn-Barbour Racing Lamborghini in round five of the ALMS at Portland, Oregon, in July, standing-in for regular driver Scott Maxwell. Fox, 32, a resident of Charlotte, North Carolina, is an instructor at Road Atlanta and is racing a Porsche this year in the Grand-Am Cup as team-mate to Tracy Krohn.

Track duties at Petit Le Mans are shared between three drivers rather than two because the race runs for 1,000 miles or ten hours (whichever is reached sooner), compared to the two-hours 45-minutes duration of most ALMS sprint races. Petit Le Mans was introduced in 1998 as a smaller or ?petit? version of France?s famous 24 Hours of Le Mans race, starting in daylight and ending well after darkness has fallen. That first one-off event was so successful that it led to the introduction of the American Le Mans Series in 1999, a championship which boasts ?European style, American attitude? and attracts the world?s best sports car manufacturers and drivers.

In preparation for Petit Le Mans, all six Krohn-Barbour Racing drivers had runs in the Lamborghinis at Road Atlanta last weekend (September 17-19). Both cars ran for more than 300 miles on the 2.54-mile, 12-turn road course, trying-out technical developments to improve durability and different chassis and suspension settings to optimize speed.

Team manager Dick Barbour said: ?This was a valuable chance to try things that we didn?t have time to try before because of the tight schedule, taking delivery of the cars one day before a race and then having five races in seven weekends. By taking a break from the race program we?ve had chance to take a good look at the cars, make some detail improvements, and prepare thoroughly for an exceptionally long race. For Nic [Jonsson] and Joe [Fox], the test also provided useful seat time in the car.?

David Brabham was outright winner of Petit Le Mans in 1999, sharing a Panoz LMP-1 with Eric Bernard and Andy Wallace; placed third overall in 2000; and was second in the GTS class, in a Ferrari 550 Maranello, last year. Peter Kox won the GTS class at Petit Le Mans last year, sharing a Ferrari 550 Maranello with Alain Menu and Tomas Enge.

This year?s race starts at 12 Noon on Saturday (25 September). Timed qualifying is on Friday, daytime and night practice on Thursday.

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