Strakka Racing team manager Piers Phillips has praised the British outfit after it secured LMP2 honours in the Le Mans 24 Hours.
Nick Leventis, Danny Watts and Jonny Kane enjoyed a stunning run in the race to claim the LMP2 title while also setting a record for the furthest distance travelled by an LMP2 car and the highest overall position for a car in the second prototype class.
The victory came on the Le Mans debut for the HPD ARX-01 and after a hard-fought battle with fellow HPD runners Highcroft Racing through the first 18 hours, before the Highcroft car ran into mechanical issues.
“This has been an unbelievable experience,” Phillips said. “We ran from start to finish without a single incident – just one slow puncture on an in-lap. Everything else went exactly to plan. All three drivers rose to the challenge, and the lead that Jonny and Danny established was remarkable. The hardest part of the race was the tension of those last few hours. I want to thank everyone involved with the project: all the members of the team, HPD and Wirth Research for such a remarkable car, and Michelin. The tyres were extraordinary, and we could have triple-stinted every set.
"Strakka is here for the long term, and this win, as fantastic as it is, is not the peak of our ambitions. It's the platform from which we can move forward. We've proved a point, set a precedent, and raised expectations. We now have to go to Portugal for the next round of the Le Mans Series, get our heads down, and prove we can do this all over again.”
Team owner Leventis, who gave the team a brief scare with a spin behind the Safety Car while holding the class lead, admitted that the victory would take some time to sink in.
“I'm quite speechless,” he said. “It's almost unreal, and I think it's going to take some time to sink in, but I'm really, really delighted. This achievement is a credit to the team that Piers has worked so hard to put together, and a reward for all the months of hard work by everyone at Strakka Racing.
“From my own point of view, I hadn't realised how much pressure there was going to be on me as the team owner. In the race, Jonny and Danny set a pace that just eclipsed everyone else, and put them all on the back foot. They created a cushion that kept us clear for the rest of the race, and made my own stints so much easier. I was able relax and concentrate on my driving.”