The Strakka Racing team put in a strong performance at Nürburgring and missed out on a podium position by just 71 thousandths of a second as the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship saw its last race in Europe this year.
Jonny Kane took on driving duties for the first stint for the team as they started from third on the LMP2 grid, with a short first pitstop as the team only added fuel, Kane leapt through in to the lead of the class.
Lewis Williamson was next up on his WEC debut, and showed no signs of any problems making the switch from single seater racing. “It was great to make some overtaking moves and have a proper race again,” says Williamson.
“That’s the longest I’ve driven a car in a race for but physically it was fine. I’ve just got to learn more about driving the car, especially how to adapt as fuel levels change and the tyres wear. The car feels very different on full tanks and it caught me out under braking when I was between two GTs, leading to me flat spotting the fronts.”
“Lewis did exactly what we asked him to do,” adds team principal Dan Walmsley. “He showed good pace but also stayed out of trouble, didn’t make mistakes and drove like an accomplished sportscar driver. We are all impressed with the job he did all weekend.”
The team would take the decision to pit Williamson slightly early with the 26-year-old becoming worries about the tyres, Nick Leventis was next up and continued the form of the other two drivers through his stint.
A full course yellow saw Leventis bring in the Gibson 015S in to the pits for an early fuel stop, a trouble-free stint set up a exciting finish for the race as Kane once again returned to the driving seat, exiting the pits fifth in class.
Kane pushed on hard as he battled with a faulty drinks system and his dashboard lighting up with warnings, this wouldn’t slow him down as he closed in on Ryan Dalziel‘s ESM car. With 30 minutes left of the race Kane was 30 seconds off the back of the ESM car. A near perfect drive saw him close in a second on every lap to finish just 71 thousandths away from third place as both cars struggled for grip on worn tyres.
“Jonny drove superbly to get that close,” adds Walmsley. “After two fourths in a row, we definitely want that podium in Mexico now.”