Multiple rally championship-winning team Kronos Racing is to return to circuit racing to run a Lola-Aston Martin LMP1 car in Le Mans events this year.
Kronos took Sebastien Loeb to the 2006 World Rally Championship title during the works Citroen team's hiatus, and has subsequently been Peugeot's top squad in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge, winning the 2008 and 2009 titles with Nicolas Vouilloz and Kris Meeke.
Before focusing on rallying, Kronos' projects included Peugeot's Belgian touring car program, and the team won the Spa 24 Hours in 1999 and 2000 when it was run as a sedan event. The squad will field the Orbello Racing-owned Lola-Aston that was entered by the Signature team at Le Mans and in the Le Mans Series last year. Vanina Ickx will continue in the car, and is the only driver announced so far.
Kronos is hoping to receive a Le Mans 24 Hours entry, but says it will finalize its budget before deciding whether to add an LMS or Intercontinental Le Mans Cup program.
A statement from team managers Marc van Dalen and Jean-Pierre Mondron said: "We are extremely motivated to take up this challenge. Le Mans is one of the very mythical races in motorsports and it would be a privilege to compete in it, especially in the LMP1 category and with such a high-performing car.
"For some time, we have been looking forward to going back to endurance racing at the highest level and the opportunity we now have with Vanina Ickx is a fantastic one. We are at the initial stage of the project, still discovering the car and the new environment, but our team has proven in the past to be able to diversify and adjust quickly.
"We have taken all the necessary administrative steps with the ACO and await with confidence the decision of the selection committee."