Strakka Racing enjoyed a solid return to action in the Le Mans Series after Peter Hardman, Nick Leventis and Darren Turner took a fourth place finish in the season finale at Silverstone.
Works Aston Martin Racing ace Turner joined the regular pairing for the weekend and helped produce arguably the strongest performance of the season to date for the DBR9, although there was some disappointment in missing out on a trip to the podium.
Hardman drove the opening stint of the race but struggled with cold tyres in the early stages, although he managed to climb up to third place before pitting to hand the car over to Leventis for the middle stint. He lost time during a Safety Car period and slipped back to fourth before Turner took over for the run to the flag – taking the flag in the same position and setting the team's fastest lap in the closing stages.
“Having dropped the lap, the challenge then was just to get to the flag, and learn as much as we could about the car in race conditions,” he said. “The Dunlop tyres are very new to me, and with the limited running we had prior to the race, it was always going to be difficult to get the best out of them, but the team made some good adjustments during the course of the race, and the balance just got better and better.”
While the podium could have been a possibility had it not been for the lost lap behind the Safety Car, Hardman said he was pleased with how the race had panned out and said the team was now well placed for 2009.
“Everyone worked well together as a team,” he said. “Nick drove a strong race, and we learned a great amount from Darren. His pace was impressive. With a bit of luck we might have had a podium, which would have been a good end to the season, but we were in contention all the way. It's excellent progress, and provides a good basis for us to move forwards into next season.”
Hardman and Leventis will return to Silverstone this weekend for the Britcar 24 Hours.