Defending TUDOR United SportsCar champion Joao Barbosa will make his return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans, having been confirmed as the third driver in Krohn Racing’s Ligier JS P2 Judd.
The Portuguese ace will join Nic Jonsson and team owner/driver Tracy Krohn in the LMP2 entry, marking the team’s tenth consecutive Le Mans appearance and first in the prototype ranks.
Barbosa makes his return to La Sarthe for the first time since 2011, where he helped take Level 5 Motorsports to a podium finish in LMP2.
“I was very excited when I got the phone call with the invitation to drive at Le Mans with Krohn Racing,” said Barbosa. “I’m not only excited to be able to get back to Le Mans but also to join a top team with a great operation.
“This opportunity came about when I was talking with one of Krohn Racing engineers and how I would love to go back to Le Mans. He mentioned that there could be a possibility so we kept in touch and I just waited. I was thrilled when I received the phone call to join them.
“Although we’ve competed on the same circuit in America off and on over the years, I’m really looking forward to spend more time with Nic and Tracy to get to know them better.”
Although no stranger to closed-cockpit cars, it will be Barbosa’s first time at the wheel of a Ligier.
“I’ve been racing against them in the TUDOR Championship so I will be able to have an inside look of how good car it is,” he said.
“From what I’ve seen it’s a great car, very competitive and I think the overall package will work very well at Le Mans.”
Barbosa will miss the Le Mans Test Day on May 31 due to his TUDOR Championship commitments with Action Express Racing and will get his first laps in the Onroak Automotive-built prototype during the race week.
“His experience and race craft will be very important to us at Le Mans, alongside Tracy and Nic,” said team manager Gary Holland.
“We are looking at building on from a strong showing at the 12 Hours of Sebring and solid start in the ELMS at Silverstone.
“The LMP2 class is extremely strong, as both WEC and ELMS races have proven so far this season, however, we think we have the right tools in place to be successful at Le Mans.”