Strakka Racing will start tomorrow's 6 Hours of Estoril from the front row of the grid thanks to a superb performance by Danny Watts to qualifying the teams' Michelin shod twin-turbo V6 engined HPD ARX-01d in 2nd position.
Estoril, the former Portuguese F1 Grand Prix Circuit, has so far proved a track of attrition, causing a head scratching lack of traction for teams throughout the pit lane in the past few days. Throughout all three practice sessions, Strakka Racing worked tirelessly to try and find a setup which best suited these challenging track conditions in time for qualifying - with Danny, Nick Leventis and Jonny Kane all driving the Relentless Energy Drink backed LMP2 car.
Monitoring the traffic situation to find precisely the appropriate gap for maximum attack, the team held Danny in the pit lane until the last 15 minutes of the session. Knowing he'd only have one opportunity to get it right, Danny set two blistering quick laps straight out of the box. The first of which set pole, the second bettering it by three tenths of a second. Then it was just a case of sitting back and waiting to see if anyone could go one better. Two minutes later Greaves Motorsport did, pipping Strakka to pole.
Buoyed by another great qualifying performance and delighted to start the race tomorrow from the front row of the grid, Strakka looks on course to achieve its main aim this weekend, ending its final P2 race weekend in the Le Mans Series on a high, ahead of exciting step up to P1 in the World Endurance Championship in 2012.
Danny Watts: "As always I put my faith in the guys on the pit wall to send me out at just the right time and Jonny [Kane] played a huge part in monitoring the traffic situation too. We always planned to do just two laps and then park it, which meant that I had to get it right on the money first time. I tried my best but we just didn't have the rear end grip and I also made a few small mistakes that cost us. Pole wasn't to be ours today but we can't be too unhappy as we'll still start the race from the front row of the grid. "