Silverstone: Series preview

Thrilling finale at Silverstone Four races so far in 2010 and four different overall winners! If the Peugeot 908 HDi FAP scored two victories, courtesy of the official team at Spa and Team ORECA Matmut in Portugal, Lola-Rebellion leads the LMP1...

Thrilling finale at Silverstone

Four races so far in 2010 and four different overall winners! If the Peugeot 908 HDi FAP scored two victories, courtesy of the official team at Spa and Team ORECA Matmut in Portugal, Lola-Rebellion leads the LMP1 "Manufacturers" standings of the 2010 Le Mans Series. With 47 cars on the entry list at Silverstone, the battle is not over yet, except in the LMGT1 class!

The legendary British track that has hosted the Le Mans Series finale for a few years now and is the home track for Strakka Racing. The LMP2 team snatched an unexpected overall victory in Hungary after Danny Watts chalked up the best overall time in the morning qualifying session. The Briton is glad to race on a track that he knows like the back of his hand.

A lap of Silverstone with Danny Watts -- Strakka Racing

"I really enjoy racing at Silverstone, above all because I lived in Buckingham, 20 kilometers from the track when I was a child. After five seasons of go-karting, I have been a driving school instructor for six years. I spent most of my time on the track when I was younger.

"A flying lap of Silverstone begins with the extremely fast and challenging right-handing Copse corner taken in fifth gear. It is very easy to lose a lot of time and you must be accurate with the line. At the same time, you have to push to the limits of the car to save some time. A short straight leads you to the Maggotts-Becketts-Chapel combination, which is the most exciting part of the track. If you are brave and you dive in the corners, you can make the difference. It is a good place to watch the race as the spectators can really see and feel the driving work with the car. You need to carry as much momentum as you can for Hangar straight, which is the longest straight of the circuit. You must keep a good speed, but this is a good opportunity to check the dash board and change things if needed.

"This long straight leads to Stowe corner, which is slightly bumpy on the braking area and provides a good opportunity of overtaking, especially for the GT cars. You cannot see the exit so it is hard to know how fast you can enter this fourth gear right-hander. You need a very good balance of the car as the aero balance is important. You go slightly downhill to Vale, which is another good place for overtaking, and Club corner. The long right-hander is not as challenging as before even if it is still hard on the car and on the tires. It is taken in fourth gear and you leave it very fast because you accelerate through the corner.

"The track goes slightly uphill to Abbey, taken in fifth gear, and the brand-new section of the track. There is a big bump in the middle of the line so this is a big problem for the balance of the car. Then there is a very quick change of direction for Farm curve: you must be agile and a good balance really helps. Hard on the brakes for the Loop and Village corner, taken in first or second gear. This is the slowest part of the circuit. Once again you need a good balance and it gives you another opportunity of overtaking. You'd rather be smooth than aggressive because it is very easy to make a mistake. The following left kink will probably be flat out, as well as the Wellington straight. You jump on the brakes for Brooklands corner, which is one of the hardest corners of the circuit. You can use the kerbs on the exit before the right-handing 180-degree Luffield corner, where the grip is very good. The exit from Luffield is very important to make sure you get a good speed through Woodcote and onto the start-finish line."

Follow the Race

The 1,000Km of Silverstone are scheduled to start at 11:55 am on Sunday, September 12.

-source: lemans-series

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About this article
Series European Le Mans
Drivers Danny Watts
Teams Strakka Racing