JOHAN KRAAN MOTORSPORTS POISED TO TAKE NEXT STEP TOWARDS ULTIMATE GOAL
WANTED: FUTURE LE MANS TEAMMANAGER
If you don’t improve, you’re going backwards. It applies to sports as well as to business. And with that, it really applies to a motorsport company like Johan Kraan Motorsports, which has grown into one of the largest national motorsport teams of The Netherlands and, thanks to the successful participation in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo, is also making a name for itself internationally. And to support that development, Johan Kraan is again focussed on the next step: “The organization is becoming increasingly complex and with an eye to the future, it is the right time to appoint an official team manager to focus on the sporting aspect of the team so that I have the time to take the strategic steps that will eventually bring us to the 24 Hours of Le Mans. ”
It is plain language and a clear goal. But anyone who looked at the motorsport activities of the Dutch team ten years ago would have ruled out running in the world’s largest endurance race. “The step from the Saker Sportscars and the Citroen C1’s to racing at Le Mans is, of course, enormous and not one that you easily,” explains Kraan. “But it is also not a leap that you as a team can and should take in one go. You have to ensure that you keep growing consistently so that you are ready to realize your ultimate dream. ”
It is a philosophy that fits in the recent history of the team, which has progressed from the amateur and semi-professional racing classes to national championships. However, the biggest step came at the end of 2018 when Johan Kraan Motorsports entered Max Weering in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo, the fastest, worldwide, single-make championship and a gateway to international GT racing.
“That was a huge step. We jumped into the spotlights as complete newcomers and suddenly you take on teams that have been playing this game for decades on the most iconic circuits in Europe ”, smiles Kraan, whose team quickly mastered the 620 HP strong Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo.
At the same time, national activities continue to grow. With the Trackday Factory as the foundation of Johan Kraan Motorsports’s presence in national motorsport as the showcase, even the difficult 2020 year became one with many highlights. In the Dutch Mazda MX5 championship, for example, there were excellent results, with Milan Teekens crowned champion in both the juniors and in the general classification, in both cases with his teammate Maxime Oosten as his biggest competitor. And it is these two drivers who will progress to the Lamborghinis looking for even more success.
“2021 will be a special and important year for us. We are well represented in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo while in the background we are preparing the next steps towards the ultimate goal of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. “Now that we have earned our place in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo, we are also working on strengthening the organization. The first goal is that we continue to fight at the front, both in national and international races”, explains Kraan. “We naturally have the next step on the ladder already in our sights”, referring to a possible debut in the GT3 class, in which Lamborghini has been successful for years. “GT3 has been the most competitive form of GT racing for over a decade and is also starting to emerge as a future class in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.” And so the dream of Kraan and his team carefully becomes tangible.
To be ready for this, Johan Kraan has chosen to strengthen the organization by appointing an official team manager, a move to support the growth of the motorsport activities. “2020 was a successful year, but thanks to Covid-19 it proved tough. At the end of the season, my own experience with the virus came on top of that. If you add our experiences last year to the ambitions of the team, it is clear that should we want to seize opportunities in the coming years, we have to be ready on all fronts. A team manager with international motorsport experience who can push with the team for success on the track ensures that I can focus more on taking the next step and achieving the ultimate goal of Johan Kraan Motorsports. ”
And that is, of course, the 24 Hours of Le Mans.