British outfit Strakka Racing will expand its racing program for 2016 with a Renault RS.01 entry.
World Endurance Championship driver Nick Leventis and GP3 race winner Lewis Williamson will contest the Renault Sport Trophy driving the 550bhp GT car.
The team intends to use the Renault RS.01 as part of its development strategy for budding sportscar talent, in addition to its WEC and Formula V8 commitments.
“We are seeing more and more young drivers disillusioned with the single seater ladder and asking about drives in sportscar racing,” explained 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.”
26 year old Williamson has been confirmed as the ‘elite’ driver for Strakka’s inaugural RS.01 campaign, while team founder Leventis will run as the ‘prestige’ driver.
The duo will combine for an ‘endurance’ race at the start of each World Series by Renault weekend, before splitting into their respective classes for one solo race each.
“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,” said 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.”
“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,” added 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.”
Strakka Racing will make its Renault Sport Trophy debut at Motorland Aragon on April 17.
In 2016 the championship will run alongside Formula Renault 2.0 in support of the European Le Mans Series, touring a number of circuits including Imola, Red Bull Ring, Paul Ricard, Spa-Francorchamps and Estoril.