After a challenging year stricken by issues and delays for its new LMP2 car, Strakka Racing has remained fully committed to the FIA World Endurance Championship, with plans in place to return for a full-season effort in 2015. (En Français)
The British squad was due to debut the new Strakka-Dome S103 Nissan in next weekend’s season-ending Six Hours of Sao Paulo but elected to withdraw from the event on precautions of a safety-related device, which had yet to be homologated by the FIA.
“Subsequent to the most recent technical inspection, we received a solution from Dome to improve the head rest mounting,” team principal Dan Walmsley told Endurance-Info.
“We did not have approval from the FIA for this and whilst this fix could have satisfied the scrutineers in Brazil, it would not have made commercial sense to freight everything to Brazil without knowing for sure.
“We always said we would only race the car when we were 100 percent satisfied and a safety item is something Strakka would not compromise on. Now we have time to produce a robust solution that we have confidence in and will have signed off in plenty of time.”
Walmsley has been pleased with the development of the Japanese prototype thus far, having come off a successful five-day test at the Hungaroring last month.
It marked the first lengthy test since making a redesign to the rear suspension of the car following issues that forced them out of debuting in this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.
“Although we haven’t done any racing with the S103, we are now confident with the development status of the car and our program,” Walmsley said. “This confidence comes from completing over 3500 kms in Hungary last month where the car ran faultlessly.
“Crucially because Strakka has led the development through the summer, I think it has given the team a far deeper understanding of the car and we got literally under its skin; how it goes together, how it works and responds etc. This will help us for 2015 and why we are feeling more confident.”
Danny Watts, Jonny Kane and Nick Leventis will all return for next year, as part of the team’s three year commitment to the FIA WEC.
Walmsley said the focus remains in developing its LMP2 package, with no short-term plans of considering upgrading the car to LMP1-L spec.
“All the data we have suggests we have a competitive car that has strong pace over both a single lap and over longer stints,” he said.
“The data from Hungary correlates with what we are seeing from our own simulator and with a CFD program we are running locally. It looks good but we do have to race the car to know where we really are!”