Smooth qualifying sees team prepared for 24 hour classic
Despite challenging and changing track conditions, Strakka Racing ended the second day of qualifying for the Le Mans 24 Hours in eighth of the 23 runners and fastest of the open-top cars in the closely-contested LMP2 class.
With the rain increasing and track conditions worsening during the first two hour session, neither Jonny Kane or Danny Watts was able to better the time of 3.39.394 set by Jonny during Wednesday’s first qualifying period. With less than half the time run in dry conditions and Watts pitting for a precautionary inspection after running wide at the Porsche Curve, there were few opportunities to improve.
As darkness fell for the final two hour session, the rain worsened and, after ensuring Danny Watts had completed the requisite five laps in night conditions, Strakka ended its running early to start preparation of the car for Saturday’s race.
“We couldn’t show all the performance in the car tonight and we should be satisfied that despite traffic and limited running, we still made the top eight in one of the most competitive LMP2 fields for some time,” says team principal Dan Walmsley. “It was essentially a trouble-free tonight, just one minor excursion at the Porsche Curves and the car continues to be vice-free and reliable. We know we’ve got a good car for Le Mans with a proven track record over the 24 hours, easy to drive and gentle on its tyres. I’m confident we can deliver a strong result come Sunday afternoon and with double points on offer, we could make some decent in roads in the championship chase.”
“We are ready for this, the highlight of the season and look forward to the chance of challenging for the LMP2 honours,” adds Nick Leventis. “The fans have again been fantastic driving us on with their support for Strakka, dropping by the garage and decorating their road cars in deference to the team for the pilgrimage to La Sarthe. It means a lot to all of us that they make this effort and we will all be doing our upmost to reward them with a good result.”
The 84th Le Mans 24 Hour race will start on Saturday at 3pm CET with the cars flagged away this year by Brad Pitt. Strakka Racing will line up 17th overall of the sixty starters.