Nick Leventis

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Nick Leventis
Nick Leventis
Image from the Strakka Racing Photograph Archive, February 2010
Born (1980-01-31)January 31, 1980
London
Residence Notting Hill
Nationality English
Occupation Racing driver
Website
www.nickleventis.com

Nick Leventis (born 31 January 1980) is a British racing driver and founder of Strakka Racing. In 2010, the Strakka team of Leventis, Danny Watts, and Jonny Kane won the 2010 24 Hours of Le Mans in the LMP2 category. In August Leventis and Strakka secured their first overall victory in the Le Mans Series, winning the 1000 km of Hungaroring.[1][non-primary source needed]

In 2013, Nick will contest the FIA World Endurance Championship for a second time. The series features 6 hour races in Europe, USA, South America, the Middle East, the Far East and includes the famous Le Mans 24 Hour race in France. He'll race a 200mph Strakka Racing Honda Performance Development ARX-03c LMP1 prototype.

In addition to his own racing career, Nick is dedicated to helping young and aspiring driving talent through Strakka Performance - a bespoke driver development programme he created in 2012.

He has also raised many thousands of pounds for charity by abseiling down The Shard in London (Western Europe's tallest skyscraper), raising money for the Commando Spirit Appeal on behalf of the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund, and has ski-dived from 30,000ft above Mount Everest for the Global Angels charity


Early life[edit]

Nick Leventis was born in Kensington, London and educated at Harrow School. Leventis initially competed in downhill alpine skiing until a serious back injury in 2003 forced him to quit the sport at a professional level. From here he turned his focus to motorsports.

Racing[edit]

Nick may have been a late starter in the world of motor racing, but hard work and natural talent brought him quickly through the ranks. He now competes at the highest levels, faces some of the world's most experienced and respected drivers every time he takes to the track and is widely regarded as one of the quickest sportsman racers in endurance motorsport.

Nick was a respected downhill ski racer before a serious back injury forced him out of the sport he loved. At the age of 21, he turned his attention to motor racing, which demanded similar lightning fast reactions, an agile mind and the competition on which he thrives.

Having missed out on racing in junior formula, Nick began his racing career in 2004, driving a BMW M3 in the BMW LMA Euro Saloon Championship – dominating Class B and finishing runner-up in the overall standings. He also proved his merit in endurance racing, achieving a class win and 6th overall in the first-ever Britcar Silverstone 24 Hours, co-driving with Duller Motorsport.

In 2005 Nick branched out, racing a variety of cars and demonstrating his inherent versatility and mechanical understanding by tackling not only contemporary disciplines, but also historic events as well. He competed in the Ferrari Historic Challenge and Le Mans Classic, campaigning a rare Ferrari Dino 246 and scoring encouraging results. He achieved back-to-back victories in the Roy Salvadori Trophy at the Silverstone Classic meeting with a 1957 Aston Martin DBR1 in both 2006 and 2007, and in 2007 he also reached a personal landmark with a Le Mans podium in the Legends race with a Ferrari P3.

Nick competed in the Belgian and Italian touring car series, gaining several podiums, two class victories at Spa and consecutive wins in the prestigious Vallelunga 6 Hour Silver Cup in 2006 and 2007. Although still relatively inexperienced in pure mileage terms, he had ably demonstrated that the next step on the ladder – racing a works Aston Martin DBR9 GT1 – was well within his reach. His conviction was rewarded with a podium in the Epilogue of Brno 6 Hour race and a GT1 class win and 2nd overall in the highly competitive Vallelunga Gold Cup.

Just four years after starting out as a motorsport rookie, Nick made his debut at the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2008 – although the Aston Martin DBR9 GT1 was to retire with mechanical problems in the 17th hour.

In 2009, Nick and Strakka Racing entered a Ginetta-Zytek GZ09S LMP1 sports prototype in the Le Mans Series. Partnered by Danny Watts and Peter Hardman, Nick and the team claimed pole in Barcelona and finished 14th in LMP1 in the Le Mans 24 Hours.

For 2010, Strakka Racing raced a LMP2 twin-turbo V6 engined HPD ARX-01c in the Le Mans Series, recording one of the most remarkable seasons in sportscar racing. LMP2 victory at the Le Mans 24 Hour race broke five records, including the highest ever overall finish for a LMP2 car (5th), a new lap record and the greatest distance ever covered in the famous race by a LMP2 car. The team also achieved the first ever LMS outright win for a LMP2 chassis, with victory at the 1,000km race at the Hungaroring. Throughout each of these momentous events, Nick held his own against vastly more experienced rivals, and enhanced his standing as one of the sport's most capable up-and-coming sportscar drivers.

Nick’s driver development programme continued in the LMS in 2011, although it was to be a character-building year for the entire Strakka Racing team, as the HPD ARX-01d now had to run with an air-restricted performance disadvantage. Despite this, Nick helped the team finish runner-up in LMP2 for a second consecutive season.

In 2012, Strakka Racing contested the inaugural FIA World Endurance Championship with a new 3.4-litre normally aspirated V8 engined HPD ARX-03a, with Nick racing in America, the Middle East and the Far East for the first time. He quickly mastered each new circuit to enable the team to finish on the FIA Endurance Trophy for Private LMP1 Teams’ podium in all eight races – fittingly achieving the 100% record with an outstanding final stint at Shanghai, when Nick took the car from 4th to 3rd in the closing stages. The highlight of the season was a 3rd overall finish at the 6 Hours of Bahrain.

Nick found that multi-mileage testing in performance single-seaters was a great benefit to his driver development, but finding the right race cars with experienced teams in a correct environment was extremely difficult. Recognising that other drivers were looking for a similar private bespoke testing package, he was the brainchild behind the creation of Strakka Performance in 2012, a driver development programme that enlists the Strakka Racing engineering department, the very latest data and systems, two World Series by Renault race cars and the coaching expertise of team-mates Danny Watts and Jonny Kane. In the first six months of operation, Strakka Performance ran drivers in Europe, South Africa and Asia.

In 2013, Nick will contest the FIA World Endurance Championship in a Strakka Racing HPD ARX-03c.

Nick is a loving father to his son Marley and has run the New York City Marathon (in a time of 3hrs 11mins 33secs). He has also raised many thousands of pounds for charity by abseiling down The Shard in London (Western Europe's tallest skyscraper), raising money for the Commando Spirit Appeal on behalf of the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund, and has ski-dived from 30,000ft above Mount Everest for the Global Angels charity.

Extreme sports[edit]

After his skiing accident sidelined his ability to compete in the sport, Leventis began to develop an interest in extreme sports and is a regular surfer and wake boarder. In 2007 Nick joined the Relentless Artist stable.[2]

In October, 2010 Nick completed a 30,000 ft tandem skydive over Mount Everest with jump partner Tom Noonan in what was a new Himalayan record.[3] The jump was made in aid of the Global Angels foundation, a children's charity working with disadvantaged children [4] The Everest jump is considered to be the most dangerous in the world, given the high altitude and thick air.[5] Nick Leventis will be attempting to create solo skydive records in the New Year (2011).[6] Leventis' skydiving has been part of an effort to raise funds for his personal charity, Global Angels.

24 Hours of Le Mans results[edit]

Year Team Co-Drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
2008 Germany Vitaphone Racing Team
United Kingdom Strakka Racing
United Kingdom Peter Hardman
Brazil Alexandre Sarnes Negrão
Aston Martin DBR9 GT1 82 DNF DNF
2009 United Kingdom Strakka Racing United Kingdom Peter Hardman
United Kingdom Danny Watts
Ginetta-Zytek GZ09S LMP1 325 21st 14th
2010 United Kingdom Strakka Racing United Kingdom Danny Watts
United Kingdom Jonny Kane
HPD ARX-01C LMP2 367 5th 1st
2011 United Kingdom Strakka Racing United Kingdom Danny Watts
United Kingdom Jonny Kane
HPD ARX-01d LMP2 144 DNF DNF
2012 United Kingdom Strakka Racing United Kingdom Danny Watts
United Kingdom Jonny Kane
HPD ARX-03a LMP1 303 30th 8th
2013 United Kingdom Strakka Racing United Kingdom Danny Watts
United Kingdom Jonny Kane
HPD ARX-03c LMP1 332 6th 6th

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Strakka Racing \\ Professional Racing Team \ Silverstone". Strakkaracing.com. 2010-12-31. Retrieved 2011-02-22. 
  2. ^ "Artists | Relentless". Relentlessenergy.com. 2007-02-20. Retrieved 2011-02-22. 
  3. ^ "EVEREST SKYDIVE 2011". Everest-skydive.com. Retrieved 2011-02-22. 
  4. ^ "Nick Leventis – ‘Aiming High’". Globalangels.org. Retrieved 2011-02-22. 
  5. ^ " A new high for Nick Leventis World Record Skydive" Daily Sports Car. London October 2010. Retrieved on 2010 - 10
  6. ^ "Nick Leventis sets a new skydiving record" "Explore Himalaya". London October 2010. Retrieved on 2011 - 02

External links[edit]