Just a few weeks after the opening round of the World Endurance Championship at Silverstone, Strakka Racing is back on track this weekend at Spa Francorchamps in Belgium, for the annual six-hour race. After Silverstone, where the new DOME S103 picked up a podium finish on its debut, the driver line up of Nick Leventis, Danny Watts and Jonny Kane is relishing the opportunity to build on this result that forms a key part of the preparations for the Le Mans 24 Hours.
“Spa is a real driver’s circuit, one of my favourites,” says Watts. “It’s worth the trip just for the experience of driving up Eau Rouge and Raidillon, but overall it’s just a mega event. For most teams, it’s the dress rehearsal for Le Mans, and understandably so; it’s a tough race on a tough circuit, the last chance to prove to everyone you mean business before focusing on the big one at La Sarthe.
“There’s always a good crowd at the Spa Six Hours too, with plenty of passionate British supporters making the trip across the channel to see the cars in action one last time before we head to France. It marks the point in the year when Le Mans fever really starts.”
Since Silverstone, the team has been hard at work on its in-house simulator, using it to finesse set up the DOME S103 for the specific requirements of the Belgian track.
“We’ve focused on looking at the setup of the DOME S103 in dry conditions,” adds technical director Jay Davenport. “We were on the pace in LMP2 at Silverstone in the wet but lacked speed when the conditions improved. We know there’s a gap to the frontrunners in the class we need to close but we are making progress with changes we have been evaluating.”
Driver Danny Watts is no stranger to Spa, having raced there 11 times, spanning multiple formulae during his career. Notably, Watts had a good run at the track in the early ‘00s driving in British Formula 3 and was with Strakka Racing in 2011 when it finished third in LMP2 in the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup.
“Oddly enough my best result at the circuit other than the podium with Strakka, was back in the 2004 British F3 season, when I was driving a Lola DOME amongst an armada of Dallaras, finishing in the top five in both races that year,” adds Watts. “I’m hoping for a repeat in fortunes now I’m driving a DOME at the circuit once again, that would be a good story to tell.”
Strakka Racing will be at Spa Francorchamps from the 30th of April till the 2nd of May and you can follow its progress on twitter @strakkaracing.