Strakka Racing withdraws from remainder of FIA WEC events

Strakka Racing will bid a fond farewell to to their LM P1 team HPD ARX-03c at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. The Le Mans winning privateer team will not contest the remaining 2013 WEC events.

Strakka Racing will give its Honda Performance Development ARX-03c a celebratory farewell run at this weekend's Goodwood Festival of Speed, after withdrawing from the 2013 FIA World Endurance Championship in order to finalise its long-term sportscar racing plans. Jonny Kane will do timed runs in the Relentless Energy Drink-supported LMP1 prototype on the Goodwood Hillclimb on all three days of the Festival (12-14 July). Silverstone-based Strakka Racing is currently lying 2nd in the LMP1 Privateers' standings, while Nick Leventis (London), Danny Watts (Buckingham) and Jonny (Thame) are joint 7th in the WEC Drivers' points table, with only the factory Audi and Toyota drivers ahead of them.

However, new regulations for 2014 mean that Strakka Racing's open cockpit HPD ARX-03c will not be eligible to compete in the WEC next year, obliging the team to replace its current race car and make a significant new investment in order to continue in endurance racing.

LMP1 podium privateer: class winners Nick Leventis, Jonny Kane, Danny Watts
LMP1 podium privateer: class winners Nick Leventis, Jonny Kane, Danny Watts

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

Strakka Racing won the LMP1 Privateers' category on the recent Le Mans 24 Hours, although it didn't survive the event completely unscathed, after suffering a 128.6mph (207kph) impact with a crash barrier during Qualifying. The accident destroyed the team's only spare front end and engine cover, together with one of only two spare rear end assemblies. The financial repercussions of replacing these, and the many other broken mechanical components, would have prevented Strakka Racing from operating at the very highest level for the remainder of 2013 WEC.

Strakka Racing aims to continue to race in the LM prototype category, having enjoyed great success in this category over the last five years.

Its first season in prototypes was in 2009 when Strakka Racing ran a LMP1 Ginetta-Zytek GZ09S-04 (car #23), before switching to LMP2 and a HPD ARX-01c (#42) for 2010 and a HPD ARX-01d for 2011. In 2012 in moved back to LMP1 with a HPD ARX-03a (#21), before running the upgraded ARX-03c in the opening three rounds of this year's WEC.

During this period, Strakka Racing won its class at the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2010 and 2013 and became the first team to win a round of the Le Mans Series outright with an LMP2 car at 1000Km of the Hungaroring (Hungary).

In addition to planning its exciting new 2014 sportscar campaign, Strakka Racing will remain highly active running its P1 by Strakka Racing team in the World Series by Renault series, with a pair of Formula Renault 3.5 single-seaters driven by Will Stevens (Britain) and Matias Laine (Finland).

#21 Strakka Racing HPD ARX-03c: Nick Leventis, Jonny Kane, Danny Watts
#21 Strakka Racing HPD ARX-03c: Nick Leventis, Jonny Kane, Danny Watts

Photo by: James M. Holland

The team's Strakka Performance driver development programme will also continue to operate. Demand has been so great that tests in Spain, Belgium and Hungary have already been completed and further exclusive test days in Europe are planned throughout the summer.

Dan Walmsley, Strakka Racing Team Manager: "We are currently considering a number of very exciting opportunities that will commit Strakka Racing to top level sportscar racing well into the future, so it's imperative we focus all our efforts on this important decision-making process. It was a very difficult decision not to contest the remaining rounds of this year's FIA World Endurance Championship, but a decision that was taken in the best interests of the team's long-term sportscar racing future. We hope to be able to announce our exciting new plans very soon."

Strakka Racing

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About this article
Series WEC , Le Mans
Drivers Jonny Kane , Eric Gilbert , Will Stevens , Nick Leventis , Matias Laine , Danny Watts
Teams Strakka Racing
Article type Breaking news
Tags 2014, aco, arx, fia, goodwood, honda, hpd, kane, lemans, leventis, pirvateer, regulations, silverstone, strakka, walmsley, watts, wec, withdrawing, wsr