Danny Watts led the Honda Performance Development qualifying effort Thursday in preparation for this weekend’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, qualifying his Strakka Racing HPD ARX-03a seventh overall in the headlining LMP1 category with co-drivers Nick Leventis and Jonny Kane.
Watts was out-qualified only by the factory-run efforts from Audi and Toyota; and edged fellow “privateer” Rebellion Racing as the quickest of the independent teams, which this year are contesting a championship separate from the manufacturers’ championship for full factory-supported efforts. The JRM Racing squad of David Brabham, Karun Chandhok and Peter Dumbreck will start 11th in its ARX-03a.
In LMP2, both HPD teams elected to focus on race preparation, rather than making outright qualifying runs. The Starworks team will start ninth in LMP2 and 22nd overall in the ARX-03b co-driven by Ryan Dalziel, Tom Kimber-Smith and Enzo Potolicchio. The Level 5 Motorsports HPD will start 14th in LMP2, and 27th overall in the hands of Christophe Bouchut, Luis Diaz and Scott Tucker.
Live television coverage of the 24 Hours of Le Mans will be provided in the United States on the SPEED Network, with a pre-race show at 7:30 a.m. EDT and the race broadcast starting at 8:30 a.m.
Danny Watts (#21 Strakka Racing HPD ARX-03a) on Le Mans qualifying: “I’m delighted for the whole team, because to get privateer pole after all their hard work is very rewarding. Qualifying is only a small part of the race, but it’s nice to know that our car is fast. I really enjoyed my fastest lap. I was thoroughly ‘in the zone’, focused and concentrated. We’re fairly confident for the race. We’ve ticked a lot of boxes in terms of car set-up and tire management, and we’ve had some good night-running, which is always important here.”