After previously announcing they were swapping their Ferrari F458 GTE car for a new Ligier JSP2 entry, Krohn racing today announced they would move from the World Endurance Championship to the European Le Mans Series for next year, alongside selected Tudor United Sportscar races also.
After taking delivery of the car after a shakedown with regular OAK Racing driver Ho Pin Tung at Estoril last month, regular drivers Tracy Krohn and Nic Jonsson began testing the car at the Circuit of the Americas recently. The team have now announced their plans for 2015 which will see a both a new car to learn but a new championship also. Whilst the team will also contest selected TUSC rounds, likely to be the Daytona 24 Hours, Sebring 12 Hours and Petit Le Mans, their main focus will be the ELMS next year.
This latest move is likely an attempt to increase their chances of attaining an entry to the Le Mans 24 Hours, whilst it will also test them in arguably the premier series for LMP2 entries in sportscar racing. Team owner Tracy Krohn also announced the team could still race it's Ferrari F458 GTE car next year, although he failed to specify whether this would be a full time entry or which series they would race it in.
Alongside this news it has now become apparent the OAK racing team is unlikely to return to the Tudor United Sportscar Championship next year. Team Boss Philippe Dumas explained "We prefer to give our customers [Krohn and Michael Shank Racing, which is scheduled to start racing its Ligier from Sebring] the correct support and work on putting together a strong programme for the WEC. We would like to do Petit Le Mans at the end of the season and then come back with a proper programme in North America in 2016."
With this news that neither OAK racing or Krohn racing will be joining the Tudor United Sportscar Championship full time next year, which is likely to leave Michael Shank Racing as the sole whole season LMP2 entry in the series. With Extreme Speed Motorsport moving to the WEC next year, this shows that the LMP2 class is on the ropes in terms of entries for next year in America. Whilst other entries will boost the grid for the centre piece races, only one full time LMP2 entry must be concerning for the IMSA rule makers.
What are your thoughts on this announcement? Also, with only one full time LMP2 entry, where does this leave the class with the Tudor United Sportscar Championship?