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ELMS

Team Kolles confirms drivers and Audi R10 livery

Team Kolles Audi R10 livery presentation

© Team Kolles

Beside the already confirmed racing drivers Christian Bakkerud and Andrew Meyrick, Team Kolles relies on a number of more nameable drivers for its first LMS race in Barcelona.

Apart from Michael Krumm ,the Dutchman Charles Zwolsman will debut on the T10 TDI of the team based in Greding, aswell as the Indian former Formula 1 driver Narain Karthikeyan. The man with the most experience is Christijan Albers, who already raced for the DTM team of Dr. Colin Kolles in 2008 and who straightaway with the very R10 TDI gained the second place for Audi at his guest race in the ALMS in Laguna Seca.

Michael Krumm has been challenging the GT championship in Japan very successfully for some years, but he also can refer to experiences made in the American CART Series and Formula Nippon. 2002 he came in third at the long distance classic of Le Mans, together with Marco Werner and Philipp Peter in an Audi R8.

The dutchman Charles Zwolsman started his career in karting and went through the common valuable learning experience with Formula Ford, Formula Renault and Formula 3 before he decided to push his career in the USA. After winning the Toyota Atlantic Championship in 2005 he switched over to the Champ Car Series.

Team Kolles Audi R10 livery presentation

© Team Kolles

Narain Karthikeyan is one of the most successful Indian racing drivers and by winning the Formula Ford Winterseries became the first Indian to win a European Championship. That was followed by the victory of the Formula Asia championship, the Pole Position at the long-established Macao Grand Prix and the victory of the Formula 3 Super Prix in South Korea. In 2005 Karthikeyan competed with Team Jordan as the first Indian in Formula 1.

Christijan Albers is a familiar friend of the team, as they already competed together in the DTM last year. There Christijan convinced with constant good results in the two year old Audi A4 DTM and was able to sometimes anger the drivers in newer cars. Some of his career highlights are the victory of the Formula 3 championship in 1999 and the Vice-Championship in the DTM in 2003, as driver with the most victories. From 2005 to 2007 he raced Formula 1 for Minardi, Midland and Spyker.

Dr. Colin Kolles: “I think, with these six drivers we have a success-promising combination for our first LMS race. Each one of them is highly motivated and wants to show what he can. And also the mixture fits: with Christijan and Michael we have two long-distance-professionals, and 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 weeks for everything to work out perfectly in Barcelona. We hope our endeavors will be rewarded.”

(Team Kolles PR)

Discussion

Comments are disallowed for this post.

  1. So, let me get this strait: The LMS will have R10s and R15s and at least 45 cars are expected to start the season opening race? I’m sorry, but as an ALMS fan, I’m feeling pretty ripped off at the moment. We ALMS fans are taking it in the shorts, and the ALMS isn’t doing a darn thing about it, except to offer a GT3 group.

    And go to the FIA GT website and read how SRO is pouring cash into the series to assist the teams.

    Posted by Rob Brimer | March 31, 2009, 20:30
  2. There will be no R15′s in the LMS.

    Posted by Kyle | March 31, 2009, 20:35
  3. I agree with Rob. I was at Sebring and that was a great show. Now we are entering 2nd round and the grid is not promising.

    Posted by bill greenwood | March 31, 2009, 21:01
  4. Yeah, in the ALMS we have all the factory cars, world-wide, running, but for Aston Martin Racing. In Europe, it’s private teams (some very good private teams, but private teams none-the-less). Don’t say that the ALMS isn’t taking steps, that is highly presumptuous. I think we have a second Panoz as an early result for the ALMS trying to fix things.

    Posted by Chris | March 31, 2009, 21:05
  5. It would be awesome to see the R10 vs the R15 before the LEMANS race.

    Posted by Christopher Bouchard | April 1, 2009, 1:04
  6. Chris, how can you compare that to a 45 car field? Adding a second Panoz and the GT3 field is not going to bump things up really. In my view, it’s a stop gap measure for the loss of the GT1 field after Le Mans. I was not aware that the R15 is not going to race in the LMS, so I stand corrected there.

    I’d say the ALMS used to have a bigger mixture of factory teams and private teams, but it seems the factory teams have outspent, out-technologied the private teams and those private teams folded up or went to Grand-Am.

    The RS Spyder will race in the LMS, but us Americans won’t get to see it. I still say that there is more to this than economical troubles, and I suspect it has a lot to do with the regulations that the ALMS was using, which sort of flew against what the ACO wanted. Either way, I feel as a fan that we aren’t getting the show we paid for.

    Posted by Rob Brimer | April 1, 2009, 3:13
  7. If it had anything to do with IMSA going against the technical regulations that the ACO had set out, then I’d settle on the side of this is some sort of a bullying technique that the ACO is using as a means of “punishing” the ALMS than anything else. But, I do not believe these low numbers have anything to do with rules per se.

    The reality is, the ALMS has always been far more aware of the needs of private teams than the LMS, not making the changes in rules that could prove costly to private teams. Of course, IMSA also has taken into account their own circumstances, different circuits, longer schedule etc. and taylored rules to that as well.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m really disappointed with the smaller grids. But I haven’t heard a reasonable explanation for it, other than perhaps there is something in the maths that is not giving teams a return on investment in America.

    I think the American Le Mans Series has a broader sponsorship package, a better TV deal, and has been noted for a better “atmosphere” with greater exposure to fans and thus larger crowds. Great for factory teams and American teams. However, these reasons provide little financial motivation for European teams to run in America.

    Given the themes of the last two seasons in Europe and America, America has been factory team central. The LMS existed as a place for the privateers to cut their teeth in preparation for Le Mans. So that is where the private teams are. They would need some added motivation to make the move from Europe, to America, and there is nothing really to do that.

    TheLMS has a short schedule which is a cost saver, the events, for European teams are closer to home, so that must save costs, each thus helping return on investment. Also consider, perhaps the greatest strength, it is an ACO series and therefore you must earn “kiss-up” points with the ACO for an invitation to Le Mans.

    I don’t want to over simplify, but I think the American Le Mans Series would be far better off with a larger race purse, as that can help off set costs for teams. That is the financial motivation that IMSA needs to put into play to lure more teams, but that is most easily done with title sponsors, or at least generous presenting sponsors at given races, and I’m not sure the ALMS has that much sway yet, unfortunately.

    As far as the second Panoz, and the Challenge class, I know it doesn’t seem like much, but hopefully the challenge class will be well populated, because that will at least provide entertainment for the track-side fan. As for the second Panoz, it is another well put together team and car, and that only adds to the excitement of the series. But most importantly it is a sign that perhaps the Panoz Motorsports Group are taking action, but lets see how the year goes.

    Posted by Chris | April 1, 2009, 4:00
  8. La question à toute l’AUMÔNE évente aux Etats-Unis. Votre canal de emballage montrez la série du Mans ? Puisqu’elle semble comme ils ne font pas…

    Question to all the ALMS fans in the United States. Do your racing channel show the Le Mans Series? Becasue it seems like they dont…

    Posted by Christophé.fra | April 1, 2009, 4:08
  9. they don’t not show Lemans Series over hear in United States, but they do show the 24 hours of Lemans.

    Posted by Christopher Bouchard | April 1, 2009, 4:59
  10. Could the way forward be a World Le Mans Series?

    At the moment the ALMS is more of a Sprint Race Series (in ‘Endurance’ terms) compared to the 1,000 km races in Europe, but having a race series that took in the great European tracks (Spa, Monza, Silverstone etc) and added the great tracks in the US (Laguna, Sebring, Road Atlanta etc) and even Asia (Shanghai, Singapore etc) would be mouth-watering.

    I know I’m dreaming, but……

    Posted by Paul Dedman | April 1, 2009, 13:17
  11. I would kill to see LMS on American TV! I gather from the Europeans that visit Sebring and Road Atlanta that our tracks and series are more accessable, more fan-friendly, and closer viewing than “I see the cars in the distance and I’m sitting right in front of them” feeling that F1 designed into European tracks. ALMS car count is awful! LMS goes into Spain with, what?, 44 cars? In Europe many ages ago I visited LeMans, Vallelunga, & Monza multiple times for the old Ferarri/Matra days and the racing was super. I would love to see FIA-GT and LMS do a combined weekend at Sebring, Road Atlanta, Road America, or Mosport. In the meantime, ALMS will have to do with good racing among short fields. Everyone enjoy this weekend!

    Posted by Backstretch | April 2, 2009, 2:26
  12. This is descending into quite the debate! I just wanted to leave a comment about the colour scheme…

    (It’s very boring.)

    Posted by Jake Yorath | April 2, 2009, 13:28

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