Strakka Racing on the Home Run Danny Watts, Strakka Racing, Le Mans Series. Photo: David Lord / Dailysportscar Strakka Racing will be on home ground for the final round of the 2009 Le Mans Series next weekend at Silverstone. The ...
Strakka Racing on the Home Run
Danny Watts, Strakka Racing, Le Mans Series. Photo: David Lord / Dailysportscar Strakka Racing will be on home ground for the final round of the 2009 Le Mans Series next weekend at Silverstone. The team's headquarters stand just a stone's throw from the circuit and most of Strakka's personnel lives nearby. The team's drivers, Danny Watts and Nick Leventis, are local lads born and bred, and both rank Silverstone as one of their favourite tracks. It is also the circuit they know better than any other.
It has been an impressive debut season in the top prototype category for the Strakka Racing outfit. Pole position from Danny Watts in Barcelona for round one certainly gave Strakka and their Ginetta-Zytek GZ09S a headlining start to the year, but despite blistering pace and consistent front-running, minor reliability issues have repeatedly denied the team the results they crave. Silverstone is their best and last chance this year to make good on that impressive promise.
"Being the final race of the season it would be enormously gratifying to pay the lads back for all their efforts this year," suggests Nick Leventis. "Stepping up to running an LMP1 car has been a significant transition for the team, but they've handled the pressure remarkably well, and excelled themselves. Their skill and hard work has made it so much easier for me as a driver, knowing that the car is so well prepared and ready to go. I don't think anyone doubts the car's pace and capability, but a good result would offer the kind of reward the whole team deserves."
Nick Leventis, Strakka Racing, Le Mans Series. Photo: David Lord / Dailysportscar The last round at the Nurburgring was a relative disappointment for the team, but Strakka still came away with heads held high. "There were many positives," insists Team Manager Piers Phillips. "We had excellent pace, and if it hadn't have been for Danny's unfortunate incident with a backmarker, we'd have been looking good for a podium. The car performed especially well and Nick's contribution was particularly impressive. He'd never raced at the Nurburgring before, and found it a difficult track to master at first, but by the time we got to the race he'd got everything together and was setting very competitive laps times."
"We have familiarity on our side," considers Piers. "Danny has not only raced at Silverstone regularly, but he's also an instructor at the circuit too. Nick has been competing at Silverstone since he first started racing, including the Le Mans Series 1000 Kilometres in 2008, and has won a number of races there in the past. That means we start the weekend on the front foot, and with both our drivers having stood on the podium at Silverstone many times, they'll have the confidence, and the hunger, to do so again."
Nick Leventis, Strakka Racing, Le Mans Series. Photo: David Lord / Dailysportscar "Being a local team, and a British team, Silverstone is a circuit we know incredibly well, and wet or dry, we can be confident we've got a quick car," adds Nick. "Not only that, but we also know that the Ginetta-Zytek handles the rubber much more sympathetically than many of the other top cars, and while their pace can drop off over the course of a lengthy stints, we can double-stint our Michelins with ease. That can really work to our advantage, and means that the race can come back to us in the later stages."
"We've leaned so much this year, and with the knowledge we've gained, we now want to make our foundation for next season even more concrete with a significant result," concludes Nick. "We really want to make this one count." The race is scheduled to start at 11:35 on Sunday 13th September.
TV Schedule: Eurosport will be broadcasting the start and first hour of the race live, from 11:30am to 12:35 on Sunday 13th, and then the finish (between 16:45 and 17:30. Highlights will be shown on the 15th between 22:45 and 11:15. There will be an additional programme of highlights on Eurosport 2 on 15th September between 17:30 and 18:30. Internet Radio: Full coverage of the entire weekend will be broadcast live on Radio Le Mans.