Strakka Racing will miss the opening rounds of the FIA World Endurance Championship in order to put more time and miles into its testing programme ahead of the race debut of its new LMP2 chassis.
The announcement comes after the team had limited running at the three day Paul Ricard test, leaving them little option but to continue the testing programme. They will now complete a number of private tests ahead of the official Le Mans test day on June the 1st.
“Everybody is hugely disappointed not to be out at Silverstone, particularly having seen a little of what the car is capable of,” said Strakka Racing driver, Nick Leventis. “It’s also the home track for all the drivers and Strakka Racing’s workshop is literally just around the corner, so debuting the car there would have been perfect. However, the simple fact is that the car is not yet ready to race and we need to do more testing.”
Strakka’s agreement with DOME to run the new S103 only came in late 2013, meaning the team had the near impossible task of specifying, building and shaking down the new car in just six months. However, following the extremely limited testing the team has had before the season opener at Silverstone, engineers from both Strakka and DOME have determined that the new car issues uncovered thus far would not be fixed.
“2014 remains our development year ahead of potential customer programmes so we want solve issues, not work around them. We would not be doing justice to all the hard work done by DOME and Strakka Racing if we raced the car at this stage in its development,” added Leventis. “Strakka Racing won’t cut corners and will instead concentrate on testing not racing to unlock the speed we know the S103 is capable of. I would also like to apologise to Strakka Racing’s fans that won’t get to see the car at Silverstone but they know we are racers. We are doing this to ultimately be more competitive and to put us in a position to challenge later in the season and show what it can do.”
In addition to the lack of testing, new rules that state any teams not attending the offical Prologue Test can only run two engines throughout the year have also played their part in the team’s decision. Strakka missed the Prologue test, thus deciding to pull out so they can use their allocation with a fully tested and competitive car.