Engine issue curtails Strakka’s Spa Day
Retirement for Strakka at second round of FIA World Endurance Championship
A terminal engine concern led to an early bath for Strakka Racing at the Six Hours of Spa Francorchamps. Having plugged away to get the Gibson 015S to fifth in class in the first half of the race, driver Jonny Kane was forced to park the car with just under half the race remaining. “It’s hugely frustrating to retire, especially as the team had done such a brilliant job with smooth pit stops and a strategy that was looking like it would deliver a valuable clutch of points,” says team principal Dan Walmsley. “The telemetry highlighted a rise in oil pressure and it was decided to retire it immediately.”
The weekend had already posed the Silverstone-based squad with unexpected challenges after mechanic Paul Brown required hospital treatment on the morning of the race and was unable to play his regular role in the pitstops. This led to team principal Dan Walmsley also acting as Car Controller, wielding the lollipop for the first time in eight years. “Fortunately Paul is on the mend and our training allows us to move people to different tasks. The guys responded brilliantly and pulled together and that’s why I am so proud of them,” adds Walmsley.
The dramas continued from the start of the race with Danny Watts enduring a fraught opening stint. After qualifying 20thoverall he was in the thick of LMP2 action from the onset. Avoiding the contact that befell several LMP2 class rivals in the initial laps, Watts climbed to P17 before collecting tyre debris from the LMP1 Porsche. “It wrapped itself around the front tyre, losing 45 seconds as I crawled back before it dislodged itself,” adds Danny Watts.
The team now looks forward to the jewel in the crown of the FIA World Endurance Championship, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, June 18th-19th.
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About Strakka Racing
From early domestic campaigns with BMWs and Aston Martins, Strakka Racing has evolved to become one of the most respected and successful privateer teams in the World Endurance Championship. In 2010 the Silverstone-based team achieved a class win, five circuit records and fifth overall in the iconic Le Mans 24 Hours. In 2013, it secured a second Le Mans win in the LMP1 Privateers’ class. Ever developing, in 2013 Strakka Racing entered the Formula Renault 3.5 World Series single-seater championship, regarded as one of the best training grounds for F1. In 2016 Strakka Racing is competing in the FIA World Endurance Championship in a Gibson 015S together with an R.S.01 in the Renault Sport category.