Eurasia Motorsport is looking forward to its third successive start in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, having finished a fine fifth in class on its debut in 2016 and then recording another strong result last year.
The Asian based team are fielding the striking #44 Ligier JS P217-Gibson in the 86th edition of the race having completed successful tests at both Monza and Spa-Francorchamps. Andrea Bertolini, Niclas (‘Nic’) Jonsson and Tracy Krohn take the driving duties and all three drivers have a wealth of experience in sportscar racing and at Le Mans.
As well as its Le Mans programme, Eurasia Motorsport is competing this year in the Blancpain GT Series Asia, Chinese Endurance Series, Asian Formula Renault and Asian Formula 3. The 24 Hours of Le Mans remains the pinnacle of the sport in terms of prestige and as a challenge; something team principal Mark Goddard relishes.
“I had my first Le Mans experience as a kid back in the nineteen seventies and the 24 Hours became a childhood dream,” said Goddard. “It was a dream that came true in 2016 when Eurasia finished fifth in the LMP2 class and it was especially satisfying to compete with our Asian based personnel, as we are doing again this year. We run under the Philippine flag and most of our technicians are from the South East Asian Country.
“We are thankful to Tracy Krohn and Krohn Aviation for their support and with Tracy, Andrea and Nic on driving duties we are aiming for a top six in class finish. However just finishing the race is a major achievement for any team and we hope to make it three finishes in a row for Eurasia.
“We feel we represent the Asian Le Mans series and we are demonstrating that teams based in the region can compete at this level, Goddard concluded.”
With a karting background, Andrea has a wealth of experience having raced competitively since 2001 and has claimed multiple championship successes. His FIA GT1 title in 2006 was the first of four in the category before a move to the Blancpain GT Series where he finished second in 2012 with AF Corse. He joined the FIA World Endurance championship in 2013 and won the LMGTE Am title in 2015 with SMP Racing.
“Le Mans is always the best race of the year. It’s iconic and has so much history. Every time you race there, it’s unique. In 2015 I won and the atmosphere on the on the podium is like a dream. This year I’m in the LMP2 with Eurasia and that is quite an experience – the performance is somewhere between GT cars and F1.
“I tested at Monza and the car felt great and then we went to Spa-Francorchamps, but with the weather being poor, I only had a few laps to ensure everything was okay. It’s really exciting to be racing at Le Mans with Tracy and Nic; I know them well from our ELMS races together, so we’re all very excited about Le Mans.”
Nic has raced with Tracy Krohn in the 24 Hours of Le Mans since 2006 and last year also competed with Andrea Bertolini in the GTE AM class. With plenty of GT experience, this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans marks his third LMP2 start. Nic started his racing career in Swedish Formula 3 in 1988, taking the championships in 1990 and 1991. A move to the US followed and he competed in the IRL, American Le Mans Series and Grand Am championships before embarking on programmes in FIA WEC from 2012.
“It’s fantastic to be back for the 13th year in a row at Le Mans. I’ve driven with Tracy in every race with some other co-drivers. This year we’re back with Andrea which is good as we all raced together last year at this race and we’re all very familiar with each other.
“It’s a new car for us, but we feel confident as we have a great group of people behind us. We know Le Mans very well and with a solid run, we have a great opportunity. IN saying that’s it’s also important to manage expectations and be honest. It’s the first time for us in this car and there are others out there who have a lot more experience. We feel we are the true Pro-Am entry in the class, so we will stay out of trouble, put in solid laps and then we have a good chance of a strong result.
“I must say that what Tracy does is remarkable. He runs a multi-billion dollar business and also has the ability to run at Le Mans. It’s easy to forget what he does in the week in running a massive company and then he takes some time off for what is his passion.”
Tracy is a business entrepreneur with considerable success within his industry. He has 15 years of racing experience under his belt, including Le Mans where his first start came in 2006. Tracy finished second in 2007 in the GT2 class – his best result to date at Circuit de la Sarthe – and added further podium positions in 2009 and 2012. Krohn Aviation is the primary sponsor of Eurasia Motorsport’s 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans entry.