Strakka Racing

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Strakka Racing
Strakka Racing
Motor racing team
Founded 2007
Country  United Kingdom
Team Principal(s) Nick Leventis
Current series Le Mans Series
Formula Renault 3.5 Series
Former series Britcar
Ferrari Challenge
Drivers
Drivers' titles 0
Teams' titles 0

Strakka Racing is a British auto racing team founded by Nick Leventis. The team is based at the Silverstone Circuit in Northamptonshire. They currently operate a HPD ARX-01C sports car in the Le Mans Series. The team made history at the 2010 1000 km of Hungaroring when they became the first team in Le Mans Series history to win overall in an LMP2 class car.[1] They also became the first team in LMS history to take overall pole position in an LMP2 class car.[2]

History[edit]

2007 – Beginnings[edit]

The team was founded by Peter Hardman in 2007 to provide a platform for Nick Leventis to compete in contemporary GT racing. They entered an ex-works BMW M3 GTR in the Britcar series. Leventis was accompanied by Peter Hardman during the course of the season. Leventis also competed in classic sports car races in a Ferrari 330 P3.

2008[edit]

For 2008, the team entering the Le Mans Series with an Aston Martin DBR9 in the GT1 class. The team made its début at the 1000 km of Spa with Nick Leventis and Peter Hardman partnering up. They finished 24th overall and fourth in class.

They also entered the 24 Hours of Le Mans with the help from Vitaphone Racing Team. The Vitaphone team where not allowed to race their Maserati MC12 as it didn't pass the ACO's technical regulations so they raced the DBR9 along with Strakka during Le Mans. Leventis and Hardman shared the car with Alexandre Negrão. The car retired with prop shaft failure after 82 laps around the Circuit de la Sarthe.

The team went on to compete at the 1000 km of Silverstone where the team are based. For the race, Leventis and Hardman where joined by Aston Martin works driver Darren Turner. Ironically, this event had the same outcome as the event Strakka raced at Spa; finishing once again in 24th overall and 4th in class.

The team still raced in a few Britcar events and competed at the Britcar 24 Hours in Class 2 with their BMW. The usual drivers, Leventis and Hardman, where joined by Allan Simonsen and Christian Vann. They finished 13th overall.

2009[edit]

The 2009 season saw Strakka compete in every round of the Le Mans Series season. The team replaced the DBR9 with a new Ginetta-Zytek GZ09S to compete in the LMP1 class. The team signed new driver Danny Watts to race alongside Leventis and Hardman. The first event of the season was the 1000 km of Catalunya and saw Strakka take pole position in the brand new car, qualifying half a second quicker than the fastest of Aston Martin Racing's brand new prototypes.[3] Not a great start from Hardman meant the two Lola-Aston Martin's overtook into turn 1.[4] After a good and eventful race the drivers managed to finish fifth overall and in class.

At the following race they produced the slowest time of any car in qualifying but managed to finish 17th overall and 12th in class at the 1000 km of Spa.[5]

A month later, the team competed at the 24 Hours of Le Mans finishing 21st overall and 14th in class. Following the Le Mans 24 hours. Hardman decided to stepped down from driving and his team principal role and sold his interest in Strakka Racing to Leventis. At the 1000 km of Algarve. The car retired after just 67 laps around the brand new Algarve circuit.

The 1000 km of Nürburgring saw the team qualifying fourth and the Ginetta-Zytek was still running with an hour and a half left, and 141 laps completed when Danny Watts crashed into a barrier to avoid colliding with a slower GT2 car.[6] At the 1000 km of Silverstone the team were unable to participate in qualifying meaning the car had to start from the back of the grid. Leventis and Watts finished ninth overall and eighth in class.[7]

2009 was also the last time the team raced in Ferrari Challenge.

2010[edit]

Strakka Racing HPD ARX-03a-Honda at the 2012 6 Hours of Shanghai

For 2010 the team focused on the Le Mans Series running a HPD ARX-01C which is an updated version of Acura's LMP2 car that was successful in the American Le Mans Series. Peter Hardman left the team but Jonny Kane was signed in time for the first round, the 8 Hours of Le Castellet. Watts took LMP2 pole, setting a time of just over two seconds faster than the next nearest LMP2 car.[8] Strakka went on to win the LMP2 class finishing 35 seconds ahead of the LMP2 pack.

The team went on to pick up its 2nd consecutive pole at the 1000 km of Spa. However, transmission failure forced the team to retire after 69 laps.[9]

At Le Mans the team secured pole position in LMP2, one second ahead of the Patrón Highcroft Racing team with the same HPD ARX prototype which Highcroft have been developing with Acura/HPD for three years.[10] The driver lineup of Leventis, Watts and Kane completed 367 laps and took the LMP2 class victory, as well as fifth place overall. It was clear that the HPD ARX-01C was the dominant car as Strakka and Highcroft where for a long time battling with themselves for LMP2 lead, but the Highcroft car suffered mechanical problems resulting in Strakka finishing six laps ahead of the next nearest LMP2 class finisher, the OAK Racing entry.[11]

Strakka secured its 4th consecutive pole at the 1000 km of Algarve with Watts qualifying 0.6 seconds faster than the other LMP2 cars. Transmission failure caused the car to halt just after completing 120 laps.[12]

The 1000 km of Hungaroring was the first event of its type to be held at the Hungaroring. The tight, technical track favoured the LMP2 cars who were quick in free practice and qualifying as Watts proved by putting the HPD on overall pole, the first time in Le Mans Series history for an LMP2 car. Watts qualified nearly half a second quicker than the fastest LMP1 car. The power of the LMP1 cars however was too much to cope at the start of the race, especially the Peugeot 908 diesel car entered by Oreca. However, during the race the Oreca Peugeot developed mechanical problems and the Rebellion entries spun out. Strakka overtook the Oreca Peugeot whilst it was in the pits and went on to win overall, the first time in LMS history that an LMP2 car had won outright. The LMP1 winning car finished seventh overall, the top six finishers being LMP2 entries.

Drivers[edit]

United Kingdom Nick Leventis (2007–)
United Kingdom Peter Hardman (2007–09)
Brazil Alexandre Negrão (2008)
United Kingdom Darren Turner (2008)
United Kingdom Danny Watts (2009–)
United Kingdom Jonny Kane (2010–)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Strakka Racing takes historic overall win in Hungary". planetlemans.com. Planet Le Mans. 2010-08-23. Retrieved 2010-08-29. 
  2. ^ "1000 KM Hungaroring: Danny Watts takes overall pole". planetlemans.com. Planet Le Mans. 2010-08-22. Retrieved 2010-08-29. 
  3. ^ "Ginetta-Zytek qualifies fastest at Barcelona". planetlemans.com. Planet Le Mans. 2009-04-04. Retrieved 2010-08-29. 
  4. ^ "LMS Barcelona 2009 – Race – Hour 1". planetlemans.com. Planet Le Mans. 2009-04-05. Retrieved 2010-08-29. 
  5. ^ "Strakka Racing Chasing from the Tail in Spa". planetlemans.com. Planet Le Mans. 2009-05-11. Retrieved 2010-08-29. 
  6. ^ "Strakka out but not down at the Nürburgring". planetlemans.com. Planet Le Mans. 2009-08-24. Retrieved 2010-08-29. 
  7. ^ "Strakka concludes first LMS season on a positive note". planetlemans.com. Planet Le Mans. 2009-09-14. Retrieved 2010-08-29. 
  8. ^ "8 Heures Du Castellet – Qualifying". planetlemans.com. Planet Le Mans. 2010-04-10. Retrieved 2010-08-29. 
  9. ^ "Strakka Reflecting on Spa". strakkaracing.com. Strakka Racing. 2010-05-12. Retrieved 2010-08-29. 
  10. ^ "Strakka on LMP2 Pole at Le Mans". strakkaracing.com. Strakka Racing. 2010-06-11. Retrieved 2010-08-29. 
  11. ^ "Strakka Racing win makes LMP2 history at Le Mans". strakkaracing.com. Strakka Racing. 2010-06-13. Retrieved 2010-08-29. 
  12. ^ "The Peaks and Troughs of Motorsport". strakkaracing.com. Strakka Racing. 2010-07-18. Retrieved 2010-08-29. 

External links[edit]