31 March 2009
Kolles confirms quartet to join Bakkerud, Meyrick.
Team Kolles has confirmed that it will rely on a number of recognised names for its first Le Mans Series race, in Barcelona this weekend, revealing the quartet who will share driving duties with newcomers Christian Bakkerud and Andrew Meyrick.
German sportscar racer Michael Krumm, Dutch Champ Car refugee Charles Zwolsman, plus two drivers who passed through the Jordan/Midland F1 operation that eventually fell under Kolles' guidance - India's Narain Karthikeyan and Holland's Christijan Albers - will also pilot the team's Audi R10 TDIs.
Albers brings the greatest experience to the team, and is already familiar with Kolles, not just from F1 but also having raced for his DTM team in 2008. The Dutchman took one of the Joest Audis to second place on his ALMS debut at Laguna Seca at the end of 2008, having already shown his ability in troubling newer DTM machinery in Kolles' two-year old Audi A4.
Krumm's experience, meanwhile, comes from the Japanese GT Championship, the German having based himself in the Orient for some time, having initially ventured east to contest FNippon after his CART dreams died. He also has contemporary prototype experience, having come in third at the 2002 Le Mans 24 Hours while sharing an Audi R8 with Marco Werner and Philipp Peter.
Zwolsman and Karthikeyan have less sportscar action behind them, but bring experience of various single-seater categories to the table this weekend. Zwolsman's high point came when winning the 2004 Atlantic title in the USA, earning himself a seat in Champ Car as a result, while Karthikeyan has both raced and tested in F1 since marking himself out as a talent in F3. He has most recently competed in the A1GP Series for his homeland.
“I think, with these six drivers, we have a success-promising combination for our first LMS race," Kolles noted, "Each one of them is highly motivated and wants to show what he can."
No definitive combinations were revealed for the two cars that Kolles will field, but he believes he has various permutations.
"The mixture fits well," he admitted, "With Christijan and Michael, we have two long-distance professionals, while the other four presented themselves at first test runs as highly adaptive, hungry for success and, most important of all, as team players. The whole team has been working very hard for the last few weeks for everything to work out perfectly in Barcelona. We hope our endeavours will be rewarded.”
Kolles also revealed the livery his cars will carry in this year's championship, showing off an eye-catching graphite-and-red combination that will debut in Barcelona.
Click on relevant pic to enlarge
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