Kane Podium in FIA WEC Opener.

Jonny Kane and Strakka Racing returned to last weekends FIA World Endurance Championship with an unexpected post-race podium after originally finishing fourth in their LMP2 Dome S103.

Following the post-race technical inspections at Silverstone, the no30 Extreme Speed Motorsports HPD, which had originally finished third in class, was subsequently excluded from the race due to the front and rear planks on the car not meeting the minimum thickness requirements.

Motorsport.ie Kane Silverstone WECStrakka Racing qualified in sixth for the Silverstone 6 Hours, which marked its return to sportscar racing after nearly two years away. Nick Leventis and Danny Watts shared qualifying duties on Saturday, yielding an average time of 1.52.284 in dry conditions at the DOME S103’s race debut. “We made real progress with the car from yesterday,” says driver Danny Watts. “We improved the balance and in the wet conditions of this morning’s free practice we headed the times, right up until the tracked dried out in the final minutes. It’s a good start to our WEC racing return.”

During the race superb reliability was coupled with committed drives from the all-British line up and enabled the new LMP2 car to run faultlessly during the six hour race and claiming ninth position overall, despite ending the first lap in last place. Thanks to the grateful assistance of the marshals, driver Danny Watts was able to recover from an opening lap spin that saw the DOME S103 in the gravel trap. Watts then climbed through the field and was back in his starting position of 13th within just forty minutes. “Big thanks to the marshals,” says Danny Watts. “With their help I got back on track and from there, we could work our way into the top 10.”

The S103’s strong reliability, proven over the 10,000km of winter testing, enabled second driver Jonny Kane to make further progress, moving up to ninth. Nick Leventis followed Jonny with two and a half hours to go, holding ninth through his stint before handing back to Danny to take the flag, fourth in class.

“The car ran superbly and I am proud that Strakka Racing team quickly and efficiently got back into the swing of racing again doing a great job in the garage and pit stops, In the wet the car was very quick and before the next round, we’ll be looking how we can achieve the same in all conditions. We’ve got a good, strong car, we now have points in the bag and next we’ll now work with the drivers to improve the balance of car in all conditions.”

“Though we didn’t get a chance to celebrate this at the track, Strakka is delighted to achieve a podium finish first time out in the new car,” says team principal Dan Walmsley. “It’s great recognition for all the team’s hard work and extra special to achieve that at home with so many fans that were supporting us. We know there is work to do but it’s more points for the championship, we now look forward to Spa, says team principal Dan Walmsley.”

Strakka Racing is now third in the LMP2 category of the FIA World Endurance Championship. The team’s following outing is the 6 Hours of Spa Francorchamps on May 2nd.

Tony Gregory