Strakka Racing achieved everything it set out to do in the official test session for the Le Mans 24 Hours, successfully running its Honda Performance Development ARX-03a through its entire pre-planned schedule and finishing the day as fastest petrol engine car and top privateer entrant.
On the day Great Britain celebrated the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, the Union Flag on the Silverstone-based team’s LMP1 prototype flew proud and fast as it topped 200mph (321kph) along the famous Mulsanne Straight, as the all-British driver line-up of Nick Leventis, Jonny Kane and Danny Watts set a 3:34.243 best around the 8.468 mile (13.629km) Le Mans track. Out of a field of 61 cars, the time secured 7th fastest overall, which was only surpassed by the four works Audis R18s and two works Toyotas.
The excellent test leaves the Silverstone-based team in the best possible position heading into the Le Mans race week, which resumes on Wednesday 13 June with Free Practice. The 80th running of the great race begins on Saturday 16 June at 15.00.
Nick Leventis: “We had a very good set-up straight out of the box and our relative pace is pretty competitive. We don’t want to get carried away with times on the Le Mans test day, but we’re happy and confident we’re in a good place. We worked our way through our pre-planned test schedule, completed everything we set out to achieve and came away with a very competitive lap time. It’s fantastic to be back at Le Mans in a LMP1 car, and I’m confident we have a very competitive package which will only get better from here on in.”
Danny Watts: “I only did four flying laps in the morning and didn’t try the super-soft Michelin tyre, so I was happy with the lap time I achieved. There is certainly a lot more to come and even today I feel we could have gone faster without pushing too hard. We worked our way through our test plan without giving the technicians and engineers a big repair job, and we can now concentrate on going through the data and making small adjustments to make the car go faster when we return and when lap times really matter.”
Jonny Kane: “When I first went out onto the track, it wasn’t as dirty and slippery as I thought it was going to be, and as our beacon wasn’t working properly I wasn’t getting the correct lap times in the car and was actually going quicker than I thought I was. The car felt good straightaway, and when we altered the rear wing it felt even better. It rained a couple of times during my stints, but I took it easy, didn’t make any mistakes and as a team achieved pretty much everything we set out to do.”
Piers Phillips, Team Principal and Technical Director: “Our overall performance has been good and we’ve been the top petrol engine car and privateer team all day, so the Le Mans test could not have gone better. We signed off a number of components that we’ll use in the race this morning, acquired a lot of good data and ticked a lot of the boxes in terms of where we want to be when the race starts in two weeks time. All in all, it’s been a very productive day.”