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.”