Circuit de la Sarthe
Strakka Heads HPD Effort in Le Mans Qualifying
Despite a crash in Wednesday’s initial qualifying session, Strakka Racing and drivers Jonny Kane, Nick Leventis and Danny Watts once again led the Honda Performance Development effort in qualifying for Saturday’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, and will start second in the LMP2 class, 16th overall, in the endurance racing classic. Last year, the Strakka trio qualified on the pole and scored an LMP2 victory in HPD’s first attempt at Le Mans.
Strakka’s Kane posted the quickest LMP2 time in the first qualifying session, but later in the session Leventis crashed in the first chicane, resulting in damage to the ARX-01d’s bodywork, suspension and drivetrain. An all-night repair effort by the team saw the Strakka car back on track for Thursday’s final qualifying session, but it was edged for the LMP2 pole by the Signatech entry of Soheil Ayari, Franck Mailleux and Lucas Ordonez.
Ben Collins, Tommy Erdos and Mike Newton will start ninth in LMP2 for RML in their HPD ARX-01d; while the American Level 5 Motorsports team rounds out the three-team HPD effort at Le Mans, qualifying 11th in class in its HPD Lola coupe driven by Joao Barbosa, Christophe Bouchut and Scott Tucker.
Coverage of this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans will again be provided by the SPEED cable network, starting Saturday at 8:30 a.m. EDT, with additional live video streaming throughout the race on www.speedtv.com.
Steve Eriksen (Vice President, Honda Performance Development) on Le Mans qualifying: “It is great to return to Le Mans again this year. I'm particularly impressed by the challenging spirit demonstrated by all three of our teams, each of which have had to recover from significant crashes this season. The tenacity that they – as well as their HPD track support engineers – have shown will be critical in this race, which is as much a test of man as machine. Best of luck this weekend to Level 5, RML, and Strakka."
-source: honda racing