Jonny Kane completes Strakka's 2010 Driver Line-up Strakka Racing has signed Jonny Kane to be the team's third driver in this season's Le Mans Series and, entry permitting, Le Mans 24 Hours. Born in Comber, Northern Ireland, Kane will partner...
Jonny Kane completes Strakka's 2010 Driver Line-up
Strakka Racing has signed Jonny Kane to be the team's third driver in this season's Le Mans Series and, entry permitting, Le Mans 24 Hours. Born in Comber, Northern Ireland, Kane will partner Nick Leventis and Danny Watts in Strakka's HPD ARX-01 LMP2 sports prototype.
The decision to give Kane the contract came at the end of a frenetic period of negotiation for the Silverstone-based outfit. "We had many options in front of us," explains Piers Phillips, the Team Manager, "and there were some really big hitters throwing their hats into the ring. It was enormously flattering to be on the receiving end of so much attention, but in the end, Jonny just fitted the bill perfectly. He has a wealth of experience and accomplishment, and signing him is an indication not only of the level that we are aiming for but also the goals that we have set ourselves. I believe we now have one of the strongest line-ups in P2."
Team owner and co-driver Nick Leventis is "very happy that Jonny is joining us. Although it was incredibly encouraging to have so many top level drivers putting their names forward and wanting to get involved, we had to consider our long-term goals. It wasn't a straightforward decision, but Jonny's experience, personality and skill were exactly what we were looking for. I now believe we've established the driver line-up we need to realise our plans for the future."
Jonny Kane is no stranger to the team, or the car he'll be driving. Shortly after taking delivery of the ARX-01 last November Strakka participated in the official Michelin tyre test at the Misano circuit in Italy, and Kane was one of three professional drivers invited to join the squad for the shake-down. "He impressed us massively," concedes Phillips. "He was immediately at ease, not only with the car, but also with everyone else in the team. It was apparent even then that we'd found someone we could work with very easily."
1997 British F3 champion Jonny Kane comes with an exemplary CV that includes two years with the works MG squad (2001 & 2002), as well as seasons with Team LNT, Spyker and Embassy. In 2003 he raced for Audi Sport UK at Sebring and was Team Bentley test driver. In 2009 he joined Speedy Sebah Racing in the team's LMP2 Lola Judd, scoring a class win in the final round at Silverstone. As well as racing, Jonny has been a regular motorsports commentator and analyst on Sky TV since 2001.
"I'm very pleased to be joining Strakka, and to be co-driving with Danny and Nick. I've worked with Danny in Formula 3 and A1GP, and then got to know the rest of the team last season, not only through the test at Misano, but also because we had adjacent garages several times through the year," said Jonny. "They have a very professional outlook, and the Misano test gave me an opportunity to witness that first-hand. The team has some very experienced and talented personnel, and they've chosen a fantastic product to go racing with."
Jonny Kane is confident that Strakka will be challenging for class wins right from the start of the season. "I'm sure we'll be there or thereabouts and fighting for the championship," he grins. Later this week the team should also learn whether or not they've been successful in their bid for an entry at Le Mans. Jonny has participated six times in the 24 Hours, and finished on the LMP2 podium in 2009 with Speedy Sebah Racing.
"Now that it's all sorted," says Kane, "I'm just looking forward to getting down to work and arriving at the first race in the best shape possible." The team will begin with a private test in Portugal later this month.
-source: strakka racing