Pole for Strakka Racing on LMP1 Debut

Pole for Strakka Racing on LMP1 Debut

05.04.2009: It took Danny Watts just one flying lap to set the new Strakka Racing Ginetta-Zytek GZ09S on pole for tomorrow’s opening round of the 2009 Le Mans Series, locking out both the new Lola Aston Martins, a pair of Audi R10s

It took Danny Watts just one flying lap to set the new Strakka Racing Ginetta-Zytek GZ09S on pole for tomorrow’s opening round of the 2009 Le Mans Series, locking out both the new Lola Aston Martins, a pair of Audi R10s and the latest chassis from Pescarolo Sport. Strakka’s performance also represented the first time that a petrol-engined car has out-qualified the diesels in over two years of Le Mans Series competition.

“Danny had said he wanted to do it in two laps, and he got the job done in one. It was an absolutely stunning lap,” said Peter Hardman, co-driver and Team Principal at Strakka Racing. ““I’ve always known we had a really quick car but now we’ve managed to prove it in the session that matters. Obviously, I’m very happy about it, and it’s a tribute to the whole team how quickly we’ve stepped up to this level.”

“It wasn’t a bad lap, to be fair,” conceded a grinning Danny Watts. “I don’t think I could have improved too much on it, although I did brake too late into the hairpin, locked up and mullered the front left. That gave me a small flat spot, so maybe there was potential for something quicker.”

The lap in question came five minutes into the twenty-minute session. The team had kept the GZ09S parked up in the garage while the queue cleared from the pitlane, and then released Watts into the first gap in traffic. He exploited the space to the full, throwing down a time of 1:32.492 that was almost three seconds faster than he’d managed in practice. “It was a clear lap no problems,” he said. “I was into a second which might have been quicker when I was baulked. I abandoned the run after that, and headed back to the pitlane to save the tyres.”

“Thanks to everyone who’s helped to make this happen, and particular credit to Michelin, who gave us the perfect tyre,” said Nick Leventis. “This has been a fantastic team effort and in such a short time too. Everyone’s done a great job of pulling together, and this is exactly the reward we needed. It’s hard to credit that just four years ago we were running an endurance touring car, and here we are in our first season in LMP1, and we’re on pole. It’s almost too good to be true.”

“I’m absolutely delighted,” stated John Manchester of Zytek Engineering “This is the first race with the GZ09S, and to sit on pole is something I don’t think any of thought would happen. The car is still in the very early stages of development, so we’re confident there’s lots more to come this season. We’re also delighted for Strakka Racing. It’s a big step up from GT1 to LMP1, and to get pole in their first ever race at this level is a remarkable achievement. I hope this is the start of a strong and successful relationship.”

“Claiming pole doesn’t change our strategy for tomorrow,” insisted Peter Hardman. “Our objective now is still to run our own race, keep out of trouble and finish.” His long-term co-driver Nick Leventis revealed that the team had never deliberately aimed so high. “Qualifying was always important, of course, but we never allowed ourselves to get carried away with it. It was two laps or nothing, so I’m thrilled and delighted that Danny managed such a fantastic time at the first attempt.”

The 1000 Kilometres of Catalunya is scheduled to start at 11:30 am (CET) tomorrow, Sunday 4th April.

-  James Turner- Image 2, credit: Peter May / Dailysportscar. Image 1, credit Marcus Potts / CMC

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/le-mans-series-strakka-racing-pole-barcelona-lmp1-debut-ginetta-zytek-danny-watts-peter-hardman---61125.html

05.04.2009 / MaP

More News

Team Felbermayr-Proton: Das Ziel ist der Titel
Dies ist das ehrgeizige Ziel vom Team Felbermayr-Proton in der Le Mans Series 2009. „Wir sind 2007 und 2008 Vizemeister geworden, deshalb wäre eine andere Zielsetzung als der Titel in der GT2-Klasse Tiefstapelei!“ sagt Teamchef Christian Ried.Wie im more >>
Ragues and Mailleux ready for Le Mans Series encounter at Barcelona
The Signature team line-up of Mailleux and Ragues, seen here testing at Paul Ricard, is looking forward to this weekend's opening race at BarcelonaThe all-French Signature Team line-up of Franck Mailleux and Pierre Ragues is ready a more >>
Berliner Stefan Mücke startet in Barcelona in die Le Mans Series 2009
 „Ich bin sehr gespannt darauf, wo wir stehen“Für Sportwagen-Pilot Stefan Mücke wird es am kommenden Wochenende (3. bis 5. April) ernst: Der Berliner bestreitet als Asto more >>
LMS-Team Kolles bekommt Energie von „ON“ Kaugummi
Pünktlich zum Saisonauftakt der Le Mans Series am 05.04.09 in Barcelona freut sich das Team Kolles seine Kooperation mit „ON – der einzige Energy Drink in Form eines zuckerfreien Kaugummis“ bekannt zu geben. more >>
Team Kolles starts with top-class drivers squad into their first LMS race
Beside the already confirmed racing drivers Christian Bakkerud and Andrew Meyrick, Team Kolles relies on a number of more nameable drivers for its first LMS race in Barcelona.Apart from Michael Krumm ,the d more >>
Larbre unveil Barcelona 1000kms line-up for car 50
Larbre Competition has announced Steve Zacchia, Roland Berville and Sébastien Dumez as its driver line-up for the Barcelona 1000kms on 5 April.The trio will race the French team&rsquo more >>
Strongest Ever Line Up For Zytek Motorsport
New car and teams make the British manufacturer a favouriteZytek Motorsport starts this Sunday’s 1,000km of Catalunya with its strongest ever line-up for a Le Mans Series race.  Thanks to an i more >>
Strakka Racing Ready for LMP1 Barcelona Debut
Two months of intense testing and development come to a head next weekend when Strakka Racing makes its prototype racing debut in Round 1 of the 2009 Le Mans Series. The team’s three drivers; Peter Hardman, Nick Leventis and D more >>
Christophe Bouchut set for Full Speed Le Mans Series assault
Full Speed Racing has completed the signing of sportscar superstar Christophe Bouchut to drive their Saleen S7R in the Le Mans Series.The team have already announced racing progr more >>
New LMP1 Ginetta-Zytek impresses in its first test
Strakka Racing completes two-day test at new Algarve circuitThe first test of the LMP1 Ginetta-Zytek GZ09S proved every bit as successful as that of its LMP2 counterpart the week before. Now, with m more >>
Team ECOSpeed: a new challenger for Endurance Racing
Newly founded Team ECOSpeed, based in Lugano, Switzerland, is ready to challenge the established competitors in Le Mans Series, Asian Le Mans Series, selected events of American Le Mans Series, and, if the entry is accepted, the more >>
Positive shakedown for Matteo Bobbi at Misano
Good feelings for Matteo Bobbi in occasion of the first test behind the wheel of the Lola coupè LMP2.The Milanese driver tested several setup solutions on Firday and Saturday at Misano and was truly impresse more >>
Drivers delighted with performance of new Ginetta-Zytek
GZ09S/2 proves fast despite new regulations The new Ginetta-Zytek GZ09S proved particularly rapid during a second round of testing at the Autódromo do Estoril in Portugal last week. During three days of trials, Zytek Motorsport an more >>
Danny Watts Confirmed at Strakka Racing
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. Pen more >>
Full Speed Racing set to join Le Mans Series grid
Full Speed Racing is set to join the Le Mans Series grid in 2009 after the team confirmed they have applied to enter a GT1 Saleen S7R in the full championship. The new squad, owned by an American car collector, will be led by Graham Nash's NCK Motorsport and are hoping to gain an invite to race in the Le Mans 24 Hours in June. They also have a second Saleen which they are considering running in more >>
Saulnier Racing becomes OAK Racing, Team Mazda France
After two seasons under the supervision of new owner Jacques Nicolet, and following a string of impressive results in 2008, Saulnier Racing has changed its name to become OAK Racing*.The name change arrives in tandem with a change of sporting strategy, as OAK Racing concentrates its focus on the LMP2 category in 2009 with a pair of Pescarolo-Mazdas in the Le Mans Series. The Magny-C more >>
Liz Halliday to mentor BWRDC Gold Star winners
Dual sportswoman Liz Halliday has been selected as a mentor by the British Women Racing Drivers Club (BWRDC) for their new Elite Gold Stars scheme. She newly established programme will see the BWRDC make an annual &lsqu more >>
Halliday to lend a hand for Children In Need
Duel sportswoman Liz Halliday will be taking to the track this weekend to help raise money for the annual BBC charity extravaganza, Children In Need. The East Grinstead sportscar star will be getting behind the wheel on Saturday for a charity Karting event organised by former F1 world champion Nigel Mansell at his Devonshire raceway. Liz makes up more >>
Matteo Bobbi - Test with Racing Box in prospect of LMS at Vallelunga
Matteo Bobbi will take part in a test organized by the Team Racing Box at Vallelunga tomorrow in sight of the participation of the team to the Le Mans Series 2009 championship. The Milanese driver will be behind the wheel more >>
2001-2022 copyright automobilsport.com