Danny Watts Confirmed at Strakka Racing

Danny Watts Confirmed at Strakka Racing

16.02.2009: Strakka Racing confirmed today that Danny Watts will join the squad's driver line-up for the full Le Mans Series season in 2009, co-driving the team’s Ginetta-Zytek GZ09S alongside Peter Hardman and Nick Leventis. Pending confirmation of an entry, Danny w

Strakka Racing confirmed today that Danny Watts will join the squad's driver line-up for the full Le Mans Series season in 2009, co-driving the team’s Ginetta-Zytek GZ09S alongside Peter Hardman and Nick Leventis. Pending confirmation of an entry, Danny will also be the team’s third driver for the Le Mans 24 Hours in June.

“I’m delighted to get this deal,” said Danny. “I’ve raced the Ginetta-Zytek quite a few times, but it feels very gratifying to know I’ve now got a full season ahead of me. It’s going to be tough in LMP1, up against the diesels, but I know this is a great package – reliable and easy on the Michelin tyres – and I’m confident we will be very competitive. Peter and Nick will be quick team-mates, and there’s everything to play for in this season’s championship.”

“Over time Danny has effectively become Ginetta–Zytek’s factory driver,” says Richard Dean, Managing Director of Ginetta-Zytek. “His performance at Petit Le Mans, leading the factory efforts from Peugeot, Audi and Porsche, underlines his ability at this level.

From A1GP to GT to LMP, Danny is not only experienced but one of the fastest and most accomplished British drivers around. We are delighted that he now has this chance at Strakka Racing - a forward-thinking, exciting and professional team who we believe will deliver the potential of the Ginetta–Zytek throughout 2009.”

Peter Hardman, Team Principal at Strakka Racing, said:
“I’m delighted that Danny has agreed to do the deal and come and drive for us. He comes with an excellent reputation, and his previous history suggests he’s an exceptionally competent and talented driver. I’m confident he’ll be a huge asset to the team, and his experience with the Ginetta-Zytek will be particularly valuable.”

Nick Leventis welcomes Danny’s arrival. “I’m thrilled that Danny can join us for this season. He brings enormous talent and experience to the team and, from a personal point of view, I’m looking forward to being able to benefit from some of his experience, learn more, and improve my own ability through that. Danny evidently shares our desire to see Strakka Racing achieve good results this year, and I think he’ll fit in very easily with the character of the team.”

Strakka Racing will enjoy close support from Zytek Engineering this season, and Director John Manchester is confident that the mix of drivers, chassis and engine will be very competitive. “We’ve developed an excellent relationship with Danny over the past two seasons. We all work well together, and at Zytek we rate him very highly as a driver. He’ll be great asset to the team, and I believe the combination of Peter, Nick and Danny is a very strong one. I can see them providing quite a few surprises this year!”

The team faces an intense schedule of testing before the first round of the Le Mans Series in April, beginning with two days at the new Autódromo Internacional do Algarve circuit in Portugal next week. “It’s important to have sufficient testing planned before race one in Barcelona,” suggests Peter Hardman. “It will give us a chance to develop a close understanding of the car, and gel together as a team. Danny’s understanding of the chassis should speed up our ability to assimilate data during the forthcoming tests and enable us get on the pace as rapidly as possible.”

Background on Danny Watts

Danny Watts rose to prominence following an impressive debut season with Manor Motorsport in the 2000 Formula Renault Championship. That earned him the status of finalist in the 2001 BRDC McLaren Autosport Young Driver of the Year competition.

The following year he took the title in British Formula Renault with Fortec, and he’s been at the top of his game ever since. A succession of impressive seasons in British and Japanese Formula 3 have followed, alongside guest appearances in sports and GT cars, including Porsche Carrera Cup, British GT, Porsche Supercup and Aston Martin Asia Cup. Danny currently drives for Team Great Britain in the A1GP.

In 2007 Danny raced for Team LNT Panoz in the Le Mans 24 Hours before moving into prototypes, finishing fourth overall for Team LNT Zytek at Petit Le Mans. He rounded off the year with second in LMP2 in the final round of the Le Mans Series at Silverstone. He again demonstrated impressive pace at Petit Le Mans in 2008, this time helping the GZ09S into the overall lead before finally taking the flag fourth in LMP1.

 James Turner,  Strakka Racing photo Sutton Motorsport Images

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/le-mans-series-danny-watts-confirmed-strakka-racing-ginetta-zytek-peter-hardman---55832.html

16.02.2009 / MaP

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