Disappointment for Strakka Racing at Le Mans

nightime pits

Faultless drive through the night ended Sunday morning by gear shifting issue

A gear shifting issue led to the retirement on Sunday morning of Strakka Racing’s DOME S103 at this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours. Drivers Nick Leventis, Jonny Kane and Danny Watts had driven an impeccable race up until that point, surviving heavy contact from the Rebellion and climbing up to 7thin the ultra-competitive P2 class.

After the unscheduled pit stop to replace the rear tail and wing, the entire team pulled together to push the car back up the order. Seamless pit work from Strakka Racing’s mechanics and rapid driving from the all British line up, each beating their qualifying pace saw the new car, making its Le Mans debut and in only its third race, climb up the running order, just requiring fuel or tyres at each stop before the gear shifting issue stranded the car just after the Dunlop Bridge. Valiant efforts from Nick Leventis, together with members of the team that travelled to the car to provide what support they could, weren’t quite enough to get the car back to the pits to replace the parts Strakka had available, leading to a frustrating withdrawal with less than six hours left.

“Strakka Racing came to Le Mans, with its own car, developed and built in-house to demonstrate its capability and ambition,” says team principal Dan Walmsley. “The result today is a disappointing and unjustified return for the unstinting effort, pride and passion that each and every Strakka employee has given to bring this car to the grid. Since the start of this project, these guys have worked round the clock and at each stage when we’ve faced a problem, they have worked through it a professional way and it is heartbreaking we could not get this car to the finish. We need to and will come back here to get the result that they all deserve.”

Before returning to racing in the World Endurance Championship at the Nürburgring in August, Strakka Racing will test at the German track, continuing the development of the S103 on Dunlop tyres. “We made progress and all the drivers found time gains on the race over qualifying here at Le Mans,” adds Walmsley. “We are still finding time in the car and we will do all we can to be back at the sharp end.”

HARMAN Earns Record 144 Design Awards

Stamford Con - HARMAN International Industries, Incorporated (NYSE:HAR), the premier audio, infotainment and software services company, is proud to announce a new record of product innovation and design awards for its home and multimedia products. Over the past two and a half years, HARMAN brands including JBL, Harman Kardon, AKG, and Mark Levinson have won 144 awards for 84 different products. Backed by strong consumer demand, with more than 10 million HARMAN portable audio products sold worldwide, this record of success makes HARMAN the champion award winner in the global consumer electronics industry.

“Getting the design exactly right is part of the HARMAN credo,” said Damian Mackiewicz, Vice President, Design for the Lifestyle Division. “It’s integral to ensuring that each of our products is a consistent, compelling reflection of the values that consumers expect from HARMAN brands: excellent performance, innovation and advanced technology, complemented by perfect styling. We know these values matter to consumers, so we’re enormously proud and delighted that our products are such consistent design winners.”

Marking excellence in innovation and design, HARMAN consistently receives industry recognition for its leading brands, including JBL, Harman Kardon, Infinity, AKG and Yurbuds, among others. The company earned 13 Red Dot Awards, weeks after winning 15 iF Design Awards and nine prizes for innovation at the CES tradeshow in Las Vegas, adding to its already impressive collection of honours.

A few examples of this year’s wins include the following:

  • Red Dot Design: JBL led the charge and came in with five awards, including for the JBL GO wireless speaker. The Harman Kardon brand scored a triple win, including for the wireless HD audio system. AKG won two awards for its headphones.
  • iF Design Awards: Harman Kardon was the big winner, with the Esquire Mini, Soho Wireless, Omni Bar, wireless HD audio system and the packaging design all earning iF recognition. AKG headphones won four prizes, and JBL scored wins for the JBL GO, JBL Clip and JBL Synchros REFLECT BT earbuds.
  • CES Innovation Awards: The JBL Synchros REFLECT series garnered no fewer than three prizes, with other JBL products recognized including the Authentics L16 Spotify) and to the Mark Levinson brand for the No 585 integrated amplifier.

HARMAN’s product innovation and design approach is also scoring points with consumers. HARMAN recently reached the iconic landmark of 10 million unit sales of portable devices such as loudspeakers and headphones.

“We are proud of our achievements so far but this is just the beginning of great design from HARMAN and we are excited about what’s next,” says Mackiewicz. “With a steady stream of innovative products emerging from our R&D labs every year, we are committed to continuing this record of excellence.”

Strakka Racing ready for Le Mans race return

All-British line-up returns to La Sarthe for DOME S103′s Le Mans race debut



Following a trouble-free qualifying session, Strakka Racing heads into the Le Mans race weekend confident of the reliability of its DOME S103. Whilst still shy of the outright class pace, the team made progress with the car and Dunlop rubber, with Danny Watts and Nick Leventis who both drove during qualifying, declaring improvements in the car as the session progressed, thirty six years since DOME first appeared at La Sarthe in 1979.


“We have come safely through qualifying with no dramas or issues, exactly what we wanted ahead of a 24 hour race,” says technical director Jay Davenport. “Being closer to the front runners would have been our preference but we are experienced enough to know that Le Mans is a long race and a trouble-free and reliable run is what’s needed for a strong finish on Sunday. To date the car has demonstrated that it can do just that.”

“I got more seat time tonight, having not done the mandatory number of laps yesterday,” adds Danny Watts who starts his seventh Le Mans this weekend. “The changes we made improved the car as the session progressed. There’s more work to do for sure to be the head of P2 but it’s a long time until 3pm Sunday!”


Strakka Racing will start the race in 27th position of the 56 car field with the time of 3.42.237, competing against 18 other cars in the packed LMP2 field. “With such a large field, it’s going to be a competitive and hard fought category,” adds Nick Leventis. “It’s good to be back after missing last year and we hope we can reward the fans, friends and team that continue support us so passionately with a result on Sunday.”

HARMAN Completes Acquisition of Bang & Olufsen’s Automotive Audio Business

STAMFORD, Conn. – HARMAN International Industries, Incorporated (NYSE:HAR), the leading global infotainment, audio and software services company, today announced the successful completion of its acquisition of Bang & Olufsen Automotive car audio business. Bang & Olufsen branded audio products are available in a wide range of Audi, Aston Martin, BMW and Mercedes-Benz car models.

“The additions of Bang & Olufsen and B&O PLAY as distinctive and renowned brands will complement our existing premium branded offerings and strengthen HARMAN’s position as a leader in this segment,” said Dinesh C. Paliwal, HARMAN Chairman, President and CEO. “With this acquisition we are continuing HARMAN’s drive to offer our customers the strongest portfolio of brands and technologies.”

Bang & Olufsen Automotive is well-established as an exclusive brand delivering outstanding sound quality through its unique capabilities within acoustics, design and craftsmanship. In addition to the company’s signature design excellence, its systems incorporate the radical synthesis of emotional appeal and technological performance that represent the hallmark of Bang & Olufsen. HARMAN now will bring its global marketing, scale and technologies to the Bang & Olufsen and B&O PLAY car audio brands to strengthen and grow the business.

HARMAN brands are in more than 25 million cars, and the Bang & Olufsen and the B&O PLAY brands will join HARMAN’s portfolio of car audio brands, including Bowers & Wilkins®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, Mark Levinson® and Revel®.

For further information please contact:


Nicole Mehr

Director Corporate Affairs and Communications

Phone: 49-7248-71-1272

[email protected]

New automotive research and development simulator centre opens in Hethel

Multi-million pound R&D Centre will advance simulation technology for the automotive industry


A £2m new research and development centre that features one of the world’s most advanced vehicle simulators has opened in Hethel, Norfolk. Ansible Motion’s all-new facility at the Hethel Engineering Centre will be used to develop and showcase simulation technologies for testing and developing vehicles in a virtual environment. The facility features Ansible Motion’s new Delta series simulator with a six degrees of freedom motion system, powered by 16 5GHz computers, with five projectors offering a frame rate that is five times faster than a cinema projecting a 240 degree wrap around view on an 8m screen. The R&D Centre also features a full control room to monitor up to 300 channels of data, separate viewing gallery and secure conference rooms.

Founded in 2009, Ansible Motion designs and builds ‘Driver-in-the-Loop’ simulators that are increasingly used by vehicle manufacturers and motorsport engineers to develop and test vehicles. Ansible Motion focusses on ‘engineering-class’ simulators that are so advanced they can be used to validate safety vehicle systems, sign off vehicle settings and in motorsport, where the company has already supplied one F1 team, to define aero, gearbox and suspension settings and predict a lap time before creating a physical car. By working in a consistent virtual world, engineers can cut months from a vehicle test programme with significant cost savings from being able to test road and weather conditions from anywhere on the planet in a laboratory setting.

“Simulators such as the Delta series in our new R&D Centre offer vehicle manufacturers a no-compromise method to reduce development costs and time,” says Kia Cammaerts, founder of Ansible Motion. “Using our simulator has cut the validation time from 10 days to just three for an Electronic Stability Control programme for one particular car maker. Apply those kinds of savings in cost and time across the whole car and it explains why we are now getting more and more enquiries from global OEMs to see what our simulator can do. This R&D Centre will enable automotive engineers to assess how our simulator performs and it also serves as an internal development resource to ensure our simulators, built here in Norfolk, remain at the leading edge of this invaluable technology.”


The rising demand for Ansible Motion’s simulator has been driven by the very different approach it has taken to create its light and compact platform. With a strong emphasis on getting the driver to engage in a realistic way with the simulator, Ansible Motion focussed on creating an immersive experience by embedding a model of the human vestibular system in the software and eschewed the usual hexapod machine architectures to ensure the most realistic vehicle motion. “Experienced drivers feel the difference straight away when they drive this simulator,” explains Cammaerts. “We were inspired to open our R&D Centre to visitors so rather than just tell people about how different our approach is, they can come here and actually experience it. One recent European OEM visitor with significant experience with other simulators was stunned by the realism of our simulator. We know that climbing aboard and having a drive is the best way for someone to experience the Ansible Motion difference, so we are pleased to be able to allow this peak behind the curtain at our R&D Centre.”

Zircotec Expands Technical Partnership with Ferrari ELMS race team

Success using Zircotec coatings and heatshields leads to expansion of technical partnership with JMW Motorsport

Effective thermal management that both protects and prolongs the life of race components has led European Le Mans Series GTE front-runners JMW Motorsport to extend its partnership with Zircotec. In addition to ceramic coating the exhaust, JMW Motorsport will use ZircoFlex heatshield on the gearbox air regulator and bulkhead to minimise the adverse effects of heat soak in endurance racing. 2015 will see Zircotec also coat parts of the composite floor for the first time, extending the service life of a costly part.


“Managing heat is a key factor for the reliability in endurance racing,” says JMW’s chief engineer Davey Nicholas. “With the car running for up to 24 hours, pretty much non-stop, not having to worry about thermal management is a big attraction of using Zircotec.”

The benefits of using Zircotec’s technology also appeal to JMW’s driver line up of BTCC driver Sam Tordoff and sportscar specialist George Richardson. “Drivers don’t need the distraction and discomfort of high temperatures in the cockpit. We are always seeking ways to reduce the rate of fatigue,” says Richardson. “Keeping the cockpit cool also reduces the need for the aircon that saps power. Having Zircotec on the car delivers performance and reliability is just what we need in sports car racing. It’s a real advantage.”

JMW Motorsports’ Ferrari 458 GTE will compete in the European Le Mans Series and the iconic Le Mans 24 Hours in 2015.

Autofarm Wins Porsche Industry Award

Independent Porsche specialist Autofarm has won an award for its social media and marketing from porsche911uk.com; a leading forum for Porsche enthusiasts.


In its eighth year, the 2015 Porsche UK Industry Awards, organised by porsche911uk.com, recognises the best Porsche dealers, drivers and companies associated with the brand.

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“Social media has become an important tool for engaging with existing and potential customers. We use various channels for brand awareness, promoting cars, services and offers and generally engaging with customers and Porsche enthusiasts,” says Autofarm’s co-owner Mikey Wastie. “Just a few weeks ago we sold a 993 after the buyer saw it on our twitter feed so we know it really works for that too. Thanks to everyone who gets involved with Autofarm on twitter, Instagram and Facebook.”


The award follows Autofarm once again featuring in the top 150 car dealers on twitter by Car Dealer Magazine.

Elan PR Delighted to Announce Appointment as New UK media contact for Ansible Motion

AnsibleAnsible Motion has appointed Elan PR to handle its media relations. Ansible Motion designs, manufactures and supports engineering-class driving simulators for all ground vehicles with particular relevance to the road car and professional motorsport sectors. Specialists in immersive simulation, Ansible Motion’s bespoke products are differentiated through the science behind their design and development.


Led by respected automotive and motorsport engineer Kia Cammaerts, Ansible Motion can offer insight into the following areas;


  • Simulation for automotive and motorsport applications
  • Role of simulators to increase the emotional involvement in driving
  • Creating a true sensation of motion
  • Improving driver/engineer relationships through simulation

Charlie Eastwood joins Strakka Racing’s Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup team

Charlie Eastwood


Multiple karting champion joins Strakka for Eurocup assault

After a successful test with Strakka Racing, Northern Ireland’s Charlie Eastwood will join the Silverstone’s Formula Renault 2.0 team for a full Eurocup season campaign. Eastwood, a karting World Champion, has recently returned from racing in New Zealand, where he scored second overall in the final round of the Toyota Racing Series.

“We tested really well with Strakka and coming to see the workshops confirmed this is where we want to race,” says Charlie Eastwood. “We had a good test and we just instinctively knew that was where we wanted to be and signed there and then.”

“Charlie is quick and has great attitude, just what we are looking for in the Strakka family,” says team principal Dan Walmsley. “We are genuinely delighted to get such a strong and capable driver for our first full season in Eurocup.”

Eastwood will resume testing with Strakka Racing at the first official Eurocup test at Motorland Aragon on March 19th.


JBL brand ambassador_Jerome Boateng

HARMAN, the premium global audio, visual, infotainment and enterprise automation group (NYSE:HAR), announced, that World Cup champion soccer/football player Jerome Boateng will serve as a Global Brand Ambassador for JBL® and other HARMAN audio brands.

Boateng will participate in global marketing and brand awareness programs for HARMAN’s portfolio of audio products beginning in 2015, including JBL brand advertising.

An integral part of the German national squad since 2010, Boateng helped lead his team to win the 2014 World Cup. Regarded as a strong, composed and versatile defender on the field, Boateng exemplifies HARMAN’s own commitment to quality and performance.

“Jerome’s career reflects the essence of HARMAN’s brands in many ways. He performs confidently on a global stage and is a leader and fierce competitor on the field. We do the same in audio and technology, always striving to engineer and design the best,” said Ralph Santana, Chief Marketing Officer of HARMAN. “There is a very powerful connection between sports and music that drives cultural relevance, one of our key branding goals. Jerome’s status as a champion, role model, icon and music fan is authentic, and we are excited to develop programs together that will engage those who love sports and music.”

“Music is very important to me and greatly influences my physical and mental preparation so I can perform well on the field,” said Jerome Boateng. “Music motivates me when I am pushing myself during training. It helps me focus prior to matches. HARMAN’s products deliver great audio and are perfect for my lifestyle so I want to help support their efforts to inspire others through music to be their best.”

Boateng joins an impressive roster of global figures serving as HARMAN brand ambassadors, including GRAMMY® Award-winning rock bands Maroon 5 and Linkin Park; global musician, producer, artist and humanitarian Quincy Jones, Indian film composer, record producer, musician, singer and philanthropist AR Rahman; and international piano superstar and United Nations Messenger of Peace Lang Lang.

“Jerome is one of the most popular stars in European sports today and generates excitement wherever he goes,” said Michael Mauser, President of HARMAN Lifestyle Division. “Our marketing program with Jerome was an outstanding success last year, raising the visibility for our JBL brand in particular and driving traffic for our largest retail partner. We look forward to combining the best in audio and the best in sports for football fans everywhere.”