11 March 2009
Strakka on the pace at Ricard
Strakka Racing trio Peter Hardman, Nick Leventis and Danny Watts declared themselves pleased with the Le Mans Series test session at Paul Ricard after the team's Ginetta-Zytek posted the eighth quickest time during the two-day long test.
The team took part in four of the five on-track sessions during the two days of running at the French test venue, although time was lost on the second day due a vibration.
Despite that, the team was able to complete plenty of meaningful mileage as it continues to prepare for its first season in the LMP1 category.
“I'm very happy with the way it went,” chief race engineer Piers Phillips said. “Although it was frustrating to lose so much time on Monday to the vibration, it has still been an excellent test for us, and an encouraging follow-up to our Algarve run last month.
“The benefits have been right across the board, not only as a new team bonding together, but also from all the data we've collected. We're making progress every day, and while the drivers are growing more comfortable with the car, and more confident, their pace is getting quicker.”
The opening day of running in particular saw the new Ginetta-Zytek running strongly, with Watts posting the third quickest time amongst the LMP1 machinery.
“We're very pleased with the way things have gone,” the Ginetta-Zytek works driver said. “The results are really starting to show, and despite a fairly conservative approach over the two days, we can see that we've certainly got the pace. To be third quickest here, straight out of the box, is very encouraging. The car is just so driveable! It's easy to get into a rhythm and then to be consistently quick, lap after lap.
“We were not working too hard on perfecting settings for this particular track, knowing that we'll never have to race here, but it was important to achieve a balance that we could all be happy with. The night running in particularly was valuable for us ahead of Le Mans, and also in anticipation of the Algarve night race in August.”
The team will now head to Estoril for further testing ahead of round one of the LMS season in Barcelona.
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