Strakka Racing enjoyed a fine start to prototype racing with a fifth place finish in the opening round of the Le Mans Series at Catalunya.

The team had started the race from pole position thanks to a storming lap from Danny Watts in qualifying, putting the Ginetta-Zytek on top of the pile ahead of the works Aston Martin Racing entries.

Peter Hardman took the start but slipped to fourth on the run to turn one and held fifth place after making his first stop when the Safety Car was called out. Having lost places under another caution period, he then handed the car over to Nick Leventis in eighth place.

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His stint passed without major problems before the car was handed to Watts for the run to the finish and he quickly set the cars fastest lap of the race and made his way up the order to take the flag in fifth place

"We had some mixed luck earlier in the race," Hardman said, "but it came back to us at the end. That's the way it pans out sometimes.

"Sometimes you get the luck of the draw, but we finished, and we finished well. The car is reliable, the Michelin tyres were exceptional, and we made no mistakes. This has been a great beginning for us in prototypes."

Long-time Strakka driver Leventis was also pleased with the result.

"We're new to LMP1, and still learning how endurance racing at this level works," he said. "Claiming pole and then going on to finish fifth is excellent, and it's exactly where we need to be. You only have to look at the other teams we're up against - Prodrive and Aston Martin, Oreca, Pescarolo - and you can see we're in very esteemed company. It's a privilege to be racing at this level."