Strakka Racing looked set to score a strong result at the opening round of the 2013 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) before an incident with a back marker forced the LMP1 car out of the race.
The Honda Performance Development ARX-03c started the race from 30th on the grid, but a stunning drive from Jonny Kane saw the car rise up to 7th place after just six laps of racing.
Following a strong double stint, Kane handed the car over Nick Leventis who pushed hard to continue the work of his team-mate. Leventis quickly came upon the #61 AF Corse Ferrari F458 and as he made his move to lap the GT, found himself forced off the circuit, spinning across the circuit and collecting the Ferrari in the process.
The impact with the GT machine resulted in a broken right-front suspension for the Strakka machine and caused an instant retirement.
“I was forced wide by a Ferrari on the exit of Turn 1, and once I got onto the grass I was just a passenger.” explained Leventis. “He must have known I was there, because I was flashing my lights, but these things happen and there was nothing I could do. The marshals nearby said it wasn’t my fault. It’s really frustrating, because I think we had the pace in the car today. I’m really sorry for the whole team that we’ve had to finish the race early like this. This weekend just wasn’t to be for us. But as ever, we’ll learn from this weekend and come back faster and stronger.”