Posts

Strakka Racing to partner with Dell and Xero

LOGO SR-2014-

New Strakka Livery reveals technology leaders’ support for British race team

New partnerships with global technology leader Dell and cloud accounting software company Xero have been announced by British motorsports team Strakka Racing. After revealing its World Endurance Championship Gibson 015S at The Prologue in the new colours, the team confirmed that its Formula V8 3.5 and new R.S.01 race cars will also carry Dell and Xero branding in a multi-year deal. The partnerships will see Strakka Racing act as a test bed for trialling new Dell technologies, Strakka Racing will also run its financials on Xero, while both Xero and Dell guests will participate in hospitality at race events throughout the year.

Strakka Racing Gibson 015S

“This is the beginning of an exciting relationship and Dell is looking forward to working with Strakka Racing and being part of the 2016 motorsport season,” says Richard St Clair-Quentin, leader sponsorship marketing, Dell. “Strakka Racing offers a great platform to demonstrate the array of technologies Dell now leads the World in. We can’t wait to start working alongside the team and its partners.”

“Strakka Racing is genuinely delighted to have been selected by both Dell and Xero,” says team founder Nick Leventis. “This is a partnership that will extend way beyond stickers on our cars. Strakka is increasingly an incubator for new technologies and processes and one of the attractions of working with us is our willingness to embrace and test concepts in the harsh motorsport environment. We also pride ourselves on being an accessible team and Strakka will be providing unprecedented access to Dell and Xero’s guests at race events around the world. Strakka is also very privileged to have a passionate and loyal global fan base that supports us and our partners wherever we race and that also appealed to both organisations.”

Strakka Racing WEC

The announcement follows the recently confirmed partnership with premium German oil manufacturer RAVENOL and an extension of the relationship with additive manufacturing leaders Stratasys. “Every partner is helping us to develop and expand,” adds Strakka Racing’s team principal Dan Walmsley. “As we progress from being a race team to a more sustainable motorsports business, Dell and Xero will bring their expertise to enable us to specify and implement appropriate systems to improve our processes and manage that growth. Dell is among the most recognised and respected technology brands in the world. Equally, Xero is already changing the game for small businesses, with over 600,000 subscribers in more than 180 countries, by offering real-time visibility of their financial position in a way that’s simple, smart and secure. We’re hoping its involvement in our global championships will support its growth, so that millions more small businesses can thrive.”

About Xero: 

Xero is beautiful, easy to use online accounting software for small businesses and their advisors. The company has over 600,000 subscribers in more than 180 countries. Xero boasts more than 500 third‐party integrations, and was ranked No. 1 by Forbes as the World’s Most Innovative Growth Company in 2014 and 2015.

About Dell:

Dell Inc. listens to customers and delivers worldwide innovative technology, business solutions and services that give them the power to do more. For more information, visit www.dell.com.

Strakka Racing announces new technical and commercial partnership with RAVENOL

LOGO SR-2014-

Strakka Racing will use RAVENOL’s products in FIA World Endurance Championship, Formula V8 3.5 and Renault R.S.01 categories

Premium German oil manufacturer RAVENOL will join Strakka Racing as a technical partner across all its racing activities in 2016. Strakka will have unlimited access to RAVENOL’s advanced lubrication technology and technical expertise as well as its oil testing facilities which will enable Strakka to closely monitor component wear.

“RAVENOL is a growing oil brand that has already demonstrated its motorsport products not only reduce frictional losses to unlock performance but also last longer,” says team principal Dan Walmsley. “This fits well with Strakka’s ethos to maximise the use of new technology to improve performance and efficiency.”

For RAVENOL, the tie-up offers the chance to highlight its technical advantages in a host of applications. “Our state of the art additive technology allows the oil to retain its viscosity even for extended periods of harsh use,” explains RAVENOL’s Motorsports director Martin Huning. “That might seem a minor benefit but at tracks where you could be at full throttle for over 70 per cent of the time and the oil becomes highly stressed, it can still retain a good seal round the piston to extract every ounce of performance whilst dramatically reducing fuel dilution, right up to the chequered flag. We at RAVENOL are delighted to be joining a team that is so successful across many forms of motorsport and offers us the opportunity to further develop our products.”

Strakka Racing and RAVENOL are kicking off engagement with the fans this week with an opportunity for UK-based fans to win £50 worth of RAVENOL products via Strakka’s twitter feed. “Fans can choose products from one of our 400 product lines that include everything from glass cleaner to automatic transmission fluid,” adds Huning.

Ansible Motion Opens its Doors to Cranfield University Engineering Students

Ansible Motion Logo

Driver-in-the-loop simulator specialist Ansible Motion welcomes students to its facility at Hethel Engineering Centre, giving them unprecedented insight into the technology of a Formula 1-grade engineering class simulator.

Hethel – 3rd March 2016 – Simulator manufacturer Ansible Motion recently opened its doors to students from Cranfield University’s Automotive Engineering and Advanced Motorsport Engineering MSc courses. The event gave the students a rare opportunity to familiarise themselves with the technology that’s used by top OEMs and Formula 1 teams.

The day began with a presentation from Ansible Motion technical director and founder Kia Cammaerts, outlining the key challenges involved in developing an effective driver-in-the-loop simulator. Dan Walmsley, team principal of Strakka Racing, then explained the relevance of virtual testing from a race team’s perspective and the benefits it provides.

Following a technical tour of Ansible Motion’s facility, which includes a state of the art development simulator, the students were given the opportunity to experience driving in the virtual world first-hand.

“It was a fantastic day and unique opportunity to gain first-hand experience of one of the most advanced simulators,” comments Marco Bertulies-Esposito, Advanced Motorsport Engineering MSc student. “We were able to gain an understanding of the role of simulators in motorsport and automotive development. It was fascinating to see the depth of engineering involved in creating a realistic simulation.”

For Ansible Motion, it provided an opportunity to engage with the next generation of motorsport engineers – something which Cammaerts clearly enjoyed.

“I was delighted to see the enthusiasm of these students,” he adds. “We’ve always prided ourselves on asking questions at Ansible Motion and it’s great to see the same curiosity in the engineers of tomorrow. Hopefully we provided some answers that will stand them in good stead in their future careers.”

Strakka Racing expands with 2016 Renault Sport R.S.01 Championship entry

LOGO SR-2014-

Strakka will run Nick Leventis and Lewis Williamson R.S.01 in burgeoning sports car series

An expansion of Strakka’s sportscar campaign will see the Silverstone-based team run a sole Renaultsport R.S.01 alongside its existing WEC and Formula V8 3.5 activities in 2016. The move to compete in the growing category has been driven by a desire to provide more sportscar opportunities to the young drivers Strakka is involved with. Strakka will initially run Nick Leventis as the Prestige Driver with Lewis Williamson as the Elite Driver with an eye to expand to offer seats to other aspiring drivers.

“We are seeing more and more young drivers disillusioned with the single seater ladder and asking about drives in sportscar racing,” says team principal Dan Walmsley. “They see a chance for a real career in sportscars. This affordable series is a great platform to give young drivers more experience and is a perfect fit between our WEC and single seater efforts.”

Nick Leventis

Strakka founder Nick Leventis tested the car in late 2015 and was immediately impressed with the car and opportunities it will provide. “It’s got bags of grip, not far off our Formula V8 and for drivers wanting to race sports cars, it’s an excellent way to get a feel of sportscar racing,” says Nick Leventis. “We get lots of track time and I’m initially planning to do a number of the rounds this season to keep me sharp for the WEC.”

Lewis Williamson

For Lewis Williamson, it marks his first full season of racing since 2013. “I’ve grown closer to Strakka Racing in the past two years, the team providing me with opportunities to coach its Strakka Performance drivers or test its cars, culminating with the WEC Rookie event last November,” says Williamson. “For me the R.S.01 is the perfect stepping stone to progress into sportscars which is where I want to be. This is a fantastic chance to get my career kick-started and I really appreciate the chances that drivers in the Strakka family receive.”

The series for 550bhp R.S.01s will run at European Le Mans Series and the Eurocup Renault 2.0 category including rounds at Imola, Spa and Estoril. Each round consists of an Endurance Race as well as a separate race each for both Elite Driver and Prestige Driver.

2016 R.S.01 Race Calendar

April 17th Motorland Aragon

May 15th Imola

July 17th Red Bull Ring

August 28th Paul Ricard

September 25th Spa

October 23rd Estoril

Strakka Racing previews Bahrain FIA WEC finale

LOGO SR-2014-

Strakka Racing looks to end its season on a high, when the FIA World Endurance Championship heads to Bahrain this weekend for the final race of the year.

After 60 hours of racing in seven countries, spanning three continents, Strakka Racing heads to Bahrain this week, aiming to end the tougher than expected season on a high at a venue where it has previously tasted victory.

In 2012, it scored its last class in the World Endurance Championship at the 5.4km Sakhir circuit, winning the LMP1 Privateer class and finishing third overall in the process.

“We all really enjoy driving at Sakhir, especially after our dramatic podium back in 2012,” says Danny Watts. “As a track it really flows and we have the unique challenge of mastering the changing nature of the circuit as the weekend unfolds. It doesn’t get used that often, so when we all arrive the surface has a lot of dirt and sand on it, which means it gets quicker and quicker as each session passes.”

After 60 hours of racing in seven countries, Strakka Racing heads to Bahrain.

After 60 hours of racing in seven countries, Strakka Racing heads to Bahrain.

Despite a desert location, Strakka Racing doesn’t expect temperatures to exceed those witnessed in Texas and with the open-topped Gibson, driver heat management is less critical at Sakhir. “The Gibson’s open cockpit means we get good airflow and it’s a drier heat in Bahrain. We’ve just returned from a Strakka Performance session and are in excellent shape for the weekend.”

Action at the circuit runs from the 19th to the 21st of November with the race starting at 3pm local time, running into the darkness on Saturday. The Bahrain International Circuit – which opened in 2004 – has been on the WEC calendar since its inaugural season back in 2012, and is the chosen venue for the series’ finale for the third time.

Strakka Racing Danny Watts

“We all really enjoy driving at Sakhir, especially after our dramatic podium back in 2012,” says Danny Watts.

Together with the race, Strakka Racing is also taking part in the Bahrain WEC Rookie Test the following Sunday, testing two young drivers in its Gibson. 2010 McLaren Autosport Young Driver of the Year Lewis Williamson, and Strakka’s Formula Renault 3.5 driver Tio Ellinas, will share the car during the five hours of track time throughout the day.

Strakka Racing aims to ‘takeaway’ points at Shanghai

LOGO SR-2014-

 

With just 12 hours of racing left in the 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship season, Strakka Racing hopes that by building on its pace from Fuji, the team can claim a top-five spot in the points standings at Shanghai.

Long straights and technical medium-speed sections highlight the 5.4km circuit at Jiading, a venue opened in 2004 at which Strakka Racing has only raced once before – finishing sixth overall in the inaugural WEC season back in 2012.

The points situation in the LMP2 Teams’ Championship is extremely tight with just two rounds remaining. A strong points haul at Shanghai could see eighth-placed Strakka Racing climb as high as fourth in the class with just 11 points separating it and fourth in the standings.

“We’re improving every time we go out with the Gibson,” says driver Jonny Kane. “I think a good result here will give us a lot to fight for when we head to the series’ finale at Bahrain. The whole team is motivated to finish above ESM, Sard and Alpine in the standings and it would be a massive achievement for us to do that after the year we’ve had.”

Gibson

One of the newer Hermann Tilke tracks that’s proved to be popular with drivers, the Shanghai International Circuit has hosted the Chinese round of the World Endurance Championship in each of its first four seasons. Its unique layout inspired by the Chinese character Shang (上), the first character in the name of the city Shanghai – has nonetheless proved very tough to master.

“It’s a really tricky track to set up a car for,” adds team principal Dan Walmsley. “The first corner is so tough on the drivers and requires a lot of downforce to get round quickly. Then there’s the lengthy back-straight into its famous hairpin. It’s a prime overtaking spot, but if the drivers misjudge the braking point, it can completely ruin their lap.”

The WEC race weekend at the circuit runs from the 30th of October to the 1st of November, with the race starting at 11am local time on Sunday.

Strakka Racing to run Lewis Williamson at FIA WEC Rookie Test

LOGO SR-2014-

Scot Lewis Williamson is set to drive Strakka Racing’s Gibson 015S at the official FIA WEC Rookie Test next month in Bahrain. Williamson, a former McLaren Autosport BRDC Award winner is also a key part of Strakka Performance, the team’s driver development programme is looking forward to his first proper sports car test. “I have proper opportunity to show sports car teams what I can do at this test,” says Williamson. “After not racing last year, I want to prove where I am performance-wise. The Gibson 015S has more downforce than I’ve been used to but I have some sim sessions planned to make the most of the test. Sports car racing is where I want to be. Thanks to Strakka Racing I have a chance to show what I can do!”

“Lewis has demonstrated real maturity and has been a true asset for Strakka Performance in the last year,” adds team principal Dan Walmsley. “Inside and outside the car and through the support he provides to all the drivers on our development programmes, he has shown true professionalism and it’s great that Strakka is able to give him his first proper sports car test.”

Strakka Racing is planning to announce next week another driver to share duties during the Rookie test.

 

Top four championship finish for Ellinas & Strakka Racing

LOGO SR-2014-

Strong final weekend of Formula Renault 3.5 campaign at Jerez secures top four placing in team standings for British squad

Formula Renault 3.5 race winning entrant Strakka Racing just missed out on claiming its sixth podium of 2015 during the final round of the season at Jerez on Sunday, 18th October, with Tio Ellinas coming within just 1.5 seconds shy of a deserved rostrum.

After an incredibly successful run of late, with two victories and one other podium from the previous three events, the Cypriot posted a best result of fourth place in round 17 which, added to fifth in round 16 on Saturday, 17th October, wrapped-up fourth in the drivers’ championship.

“I would like to firstly thank Strakka Racing for putting a competitive car on track this season,” said Ellinas, “We’ve had a very strong second half, one of the highest points scorers over the past few race weekends. We need to keep that momentum for whatever our 2016 plans are.”

Swedish racer Gustav Malja ended his rookie season in Formula Renault 3.5 a competitive ninth in the championship, concluding his campaign with an excellent top five finish in the final race.

Improving on his 11th position result from the weekend’s first contest, Malja produced an impressive performance in the season finale to post his third top five finish of the year.

“Race two was a good way to end the championship with one more top five finish”, said Malja, “Ending P9 in the championship in my first year is not too bad – big thanks to everyone in the team for their hard work this season!”

Ellinas qualified sixth fastest for Saturday’s encounter, lapping within 0.5 seconds of pole position, with Malja just a couple of spots further back on the grid in eighth position.

Pre-Fuji Q&A with technical director Jay Davenport

LOGO SR-2014-

Strakka Racing is heading to the Fuji Speedway for the first time since the 2012 season, Jay Davenport – the team’s technical director – previews the event

Constructed in the early 1960s, Fuji Speedway is a mecca of Japanese motorsport made famous by its mile-long pit straight featuring the backdrop of Mount Fuji. Now in its fifth configuration, the Toyota-owned circuit was a mainstay on the World Sportscar Championship’s calendar in the 80s and has been a key round of the World Endurance Championship since its inception in 2012, attracting the largest crowds outside of the Le Mans 24 Hours.

What’s the team’s overall feelings prior to leaving for Japan?

It’s been a few years since Strakka has been at Fuji Speedway, last time the team raced there was in the FIA WEC’s inaugural season back in 2012, so we’re all looking forward to returning. Danny (Watts) in particular has a smile on his face, he loves driving there and almost snatched pole in the LMP1 privateer class last time.

What are the key characteristics of the Fuji Speedway that you have to prepare for?

The famous pit-straight comes to mind, but it’s easy to make the mistake of thinking that’s the most crucial part of the circuit. There’s so much to be gained in the final sector, which is very technical and the long right-hander at Turn 4 wears the left-side tyres so much that we tend to run an asymmetrical camber. It’s a smooth track so we can make the most of that through optimizing the ride height and making the most of the kerbs!

So what do you expect from the Dunlop rubber this time round, having had them for a few events now?

Gibson

We feel we have a deeper understanding of them now, especially after CoTA. We’ll be running the Dunlop Medium and Medium Plus compounds throughout the weekend. The Gibson is pretty light on its tyres so we’re hoping to gain an advantage from that. Cooler temperatures in region surrounding Mount Fuji should fare better for the Gibson.  Nick Leventis, Jonny Kane and Danny Watts all have experience driving at the Speedway during the WEC’s inaugural season too, something we were missing from CoTA.

What’s the strategy for the weekend and the race?

Well Fuji is pretty unpredictable when it comes to weather, so we have to keep that in mind. The long-range forecast suggests we may see showers, but it can change in an instant, just look at the event two years ago when the WEC made the trip: sunny one day, torrential rain and mist the next!  One thing we do know is that Jonny (Kane) will be in the car for Qualifying this time round. He really likes the track. He’ll get extended running throughout Practice to ensure he’s at his best for the Qualifying session.

How about the competition, who do you think will be the biggest challenge to beat this time round?

Jay Davenport

The Ligiers are really strong and will continue to be, but we all think the Oreca 05 is still the car to beat. The 05 is such an efficient car and should be good down the pit-straight too. If the rain does come down though, all bets are off!

The fans at Fuji tend to be a talking point, as they’re so passionate and there are so many of them. Does that provide any extra motivation?

Definitely, it’s the biggest crowd of the year outside of Le Mans, and that makes a huge difference. It feels like a big event from what I’ve seen and that will get us all working that little bit harder to impress our fans. The drivers always say you can feed off 50,000+ people in the grandstands. I can’t wait to see the Strakka fans at the autograph sessions, we have no doubt there will be some after our history racing with Honda and DOME.

The on-track action for the WEC teams runs from the 9th-11th of October, with the race starting at 11am local time.

Third podium of WSR season for Ellinas at Le Mans

LOGO SR-2014-

Strakka Racing’s double race-winner makes third visit in as many race meetings to Formula Renault 3.5 Series rostrum

Tio Ellinas secured yet more Formula Renault 3.5 Series silverware during round 15 of the season at the Le Mans Bugatti Circuit in France on Sunday, 27th September, with a fighting third place finish in the second race of the weekend.

Having qualified on pole position for Strakka Racing, the Cypriot led away at the start and maintained his place at the front into the mandatory pit-stops after a brief Safety Car period. Although missing out on the chance to challenge for victory after all of the pit visits played out, third place still marked a very strong result and consolidated a top six championship placing.

“We had a great start to today after an amazing qualifying”, said Ellinas, “The balance in the race wasn’t quite the same and the Safety Car spoiled our advantage a bit. Still, third was very good points and I’m pleased to be on the podium for the third meeting running. I’m looking forward to Jerez now.”

Arriving at Le Mans off the back of the team’s first ever one-two result last time out at the Nurburgring in Germany, hopes were high of continued success during the penultimate event of 2015. Ellinas produced an exceptional performance in round 15 qualifying to take pole position by almost half a second, his best lap a time of 1m20.648 seconds (186.8 km/h), while team-mate Gustav Malja ended the session 13th quickest.

Making an excellent start to the race, Ellinas led away through the first sequence of turns and although only a few tenths of a second ahead of Tom Dillmann over the course of the first five laps, the Strakka driver remained unflustered. Due to an incident further back in the order, the Safety Car was deployed at the beginning of lap six which corresponded with the scheduled opening of the mandatory pit-stop window. After the re-start on the eighth tour, Ellinas led away again and then pitted for his stop at the end of the lap. Malja meanwhile, who held 14th position prior to the Safety Car, made his stop a lap later than his team-mate from eighth place.

When the order settled around mid-distance, albeit with the lead three cars still to pit, Ellinas held fourth position with Malja in the top 10. Hopes of a bid for victory didn’t work out, though, with Ellinas having to settle for a nonetheless strong third after Egor Orudzhev and Matthieu Vaxiviere emerged ahead following their pit visits.

Under huge pressure from Dean Stoneman throughout the second half of the race, Ellinas kept his rival at bay to claim the third podium of his maiden Formula Renault 3.5 campaign. Malja, meanwhile, moved up into ninth position on lap 16 and remained there to the finish sandwiched between newly crowned Formula Renault 3.5 Series Champion Oliver Rowland and Nyck De Vries.

“The second race was pretty good”, said Malja, “Before that we struggled a bit for pace but we learned a lot from the first race and the set-up for race two was really good. Now, we’re already looking for the Jerez preparation and to bounce back there.”

In round 14 on Saturday, 26th September, Ellinas started fifth on the grid while Malja lined-up in 10th position, just 0.4 seconds separating the team-mates in race one qualifying. Unfortunately, at the start of Saturday’s contest, Ellinas didn’t get away from the line cleanly and slipped back to the tail of the top 10 with Malja also edged back to 12th position. Quickly moving back into 11th place on the first lap, Malja closed up behind Ellinas initially before the gap opened back up and with 10 laps complete the pair were split by roughly 2.5 seconds. As the race progressed, positions remained unchanged although Malja did begin to come under some pressure from Nicholas Latifi as the race approached mid-distance.

Following a pit visit and retirement for Latifi, Andre Negrao became the new threat but Malja comfortably saw off his rival to hold 11th position to the chequered flag. Ellinas finished the encounter in a clear 10th place but due to a time penalty for Matthieu Vaxiviere, the Cypriot was elevated into ninth spot. While Ellinas maintains sixth in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series standings with 113 points, Malja ended the Le Mans weekend ninth in the title race on 69 points. In the team championship, Strakka Racing is fourth with 182 points.

The final two races of the 2015 Formula Renault 3.5 Series will take place at Jerez in Spain over the weekend 17th/18th October.