Strakka Racing heads 2011 Le Mans 24 hour LMP2 entry

"The LMP2 class at Le Mans is very strong"

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18 February 2011 - 21:31
Strakka Racing heads 2011 Le Mans (...)

Defending Le Mans 24 hour LMP2 champions Strakka Racing heads a strong 11 car class field for the 2011 race, which takes place on the famous Circuit de la Sarthe on 11-12 June. Strakka Racing’s driver line-up remains unchanged for 2011, with Nick Leventis, Danny Watts and Jonny Kane driving the team’s HPD ARX-01d. Last year was only the third time the Silverstone-based team had attempted the Le Mans 24 hours and the first in LMP2, yet it dominated the category with an outstanding record-breaking performance. After qualifying on pole, Strakka Racing set a new class lap record, completed the greatest distance ever covered by a LMP2 car, crossed the line in the highest position ever achieved in LMP2 (5th overall), covered the greatest distance ever recorded by a LMP2 car (367 laps and almost 5002kms), spent the least amount of time in the pits during the race, won the Michelin Green X Challenge and clinched LMP2 victory by six laps.

In 2010 Strakka Racing raced a normally-aspirated V8 engine, and in line with the new sporting and technical regulations the 2011 spec. HPD ARX- 01d will be powered by a brand new Honda Performance Development (HPD) 2.8-litre twin-turbo V6 engine. This new engine is based on Honda’s global V6, as found in the Accord, Odyssey and other Honda/Acura road models, with the racing version the result of a joint effort between HPD and Honda R&D Americas, Inc. (HRA). It will be hard to better last year’s overall result, especially as 17 cars have been entered in the more powerful LMP1 class - including three from Audi and Peugeot, two from Aston Martin Racing, a pair of Lola-Toyotas from Rebellion Racing, a Peugeot 908 from ORECA, a Pescarolo Judd and a HPD ARX-01e from Highcroft.

The aim of the Strakka Racing is to win the LMP2 category, which will be made all the more difficult thanks to a very strong entry. Nick Leventis: "We never pay too much attention to the competition, as we have to focus on what we’re doing and make sure we do things the best we can. However, the LMP2 class at Le Mans is very strong. There is a good balance of cars and it’s nice to see Nissan back. Winning the Le Mans 24 hours is no easy task. We had a fantastic run last year and gained a lot of experience, but this year’s race will be extremely tough. The car we raced last year was at the end of a five year development, and now we are going there with a twin-turbo V6 which is very new and very different to drive and engineer, so it will be a big challenge.

"Until the 24 hours we’ll be concentrating on making a strong start in the Le Mans Series, because one of the aims of the team is to win the LMP2 LMS title - the only thing that eluded us in 2010. The Le Mans 24 hour race is always in the back of our minds, and we are certainly looking forward to going back there and challenge for another LMP2 victory."

Jean-Claude Plassart, President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest: "Once again the field assembled for the 79th event is of exceptional quality. The Sports Management Committee received 71 entries for 56 places on the grid. It again had to make hard choices due to the great interest and overall quality of the candidates. But above all, we’re delighted to see how many major manufacturers from the world of the motor car industry, have put their trust in the ACO to provide them with the best possible theatre in which to showcase their sporting involvement."

Source : Strakka Racing

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