Suspension stymies Strakka’s hopes in Shanghai
Broken wishbone mount prevents Strakka from scoring significant points in China
Strakka Racing endured a tough weekend in China, finishing seventh after six hours of arduous racing at the Shanghai circuit. Challenging wet conditions meant a start behind the safety car for Danny Watts from seventh in the competitive LMP2 class. Watts’ strategy to stay out of trouble looked the right way forward as cars throughout the field struggled to stay on the circuit but the plan was ultimately ruined by a rare suspension failure that pitched him into the gravel. “That was tough out there, even without the lower wishbone mount breaking,” says Danny Watts. “I want to say big thanks to the marshals for getting me safely out of the gravel from the outside of Turn 14.”
After being recovered by the snatch vehicle, Watts was able to haul the car back to the pits where the team repaired the car in just 12 minutes. “The team has been exceptional in the pits all weekend,” adds Nick Leventis. “Whether it was fixing the car or doing the scheduled driver, fuel and tyre changes, our guys were absolutely on it and delivered some of the fastest stops.”
Despite the rapid fix, the team lost four laps and dropped to last place, putting the car realistically out of contention for the day. Jonny Kane then took over the Gibson and showed the team’s ability to deliver class-leading pace and was among the quickest cars in the competitive LMP2 class . “The conditions were so difficult,” says Jonny Kane. “It was really greasy. This race threw pretty much everything at us but we stuck at it and brought it home. Thanks to everyone for the support and fans in the UK who got up to watch us.”
Nick Leventis took over the 42 car showed his continued return to pace in the second half of this season with a strong stint that was only punctuated by a deflating right front tyre in the final ten minutes. This led to the car getting beached, requiring further assistance to return to the pits to change the tyre and Nick ultimately brought the car home seventh in LMP2. "I am really proud of the way the guys never gave up despite such a major setback at the start of the race," adds team principal Dan Walmsley. "With the suspension fixed, Jonny and Nick were running at the class pace and the guys in the pits were supreme. That's all positive news in what has been a hard year."
The team will now head to Bahrain for the final round of the World Endurance Championship on the 21st November.
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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 2015 Strakka Racing is competing in the FIA World Endurance Championship in a Gibson 015S together with a two car campaign in World Series by Renault.