A stunning lap by Danny Watts saw him set a time of 1:46.160 – the team’s best time of the weekend so far – to put the Union Flag-flying Honda Performance Development ARX-03a 4th overall on the grid, beaten only by the works cars from Audi and Toyota.
Qualifying was the culmination of a solid team effort over three free practice sessions in which Danny, Nick Leventis and Jonny Kane had each done an excellent job to fine-tuned the car’s set-up to best suit the tricky changeable conditions.
The 20-minute Qualifying session started damp, with Danny going out on intermediate Michelin tires. His first flying lap of 1:54.976 around the 3.66 mile (5.89km) Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit put Strakka Racing 14th, and as the track dried a spin mid-way through the session signalled a call for slicks.
The next flying lap time of 1:46.432 put Strakka 2nd overall, and while lap times improved for everyone, a magnificent final flying lap push saw Danny better his time yet again – ensuring the Silverstone-based team will start the six hour race from the second row of the grid.
Danny: “It was a difficult qualifying session with the changeable conditions. It was difficult to judge where the grip was because one half of the track was considerably drier than the other half. I was surprised how quickly the track dried out. I had a spin on the intermediates and crossed the finish line backwards – that’s the first time I’ve ever done that – and that was my cue to come in and put slicks on.
“Fourth overall is like pole position for us. We have to forget about the works Audi and Toyota cars because we’re not racing them in the privateer class – so we’re very happy to qualify top privateer on our home round of the World Endurance Championship.”
Tomorrow’s race day begins with a 20-minute warm-up at 08.55, before the start of the race at 12.00.
Source: Strakka Racing