Strakka Racing bids goodbye to WEC, but...
Switches to Blancpain with new mclaren partnership
A major shift for 2017 will see the British team switch to GT3 racing, with plans to campaign a minimum of 4 McLaren 650s GT3s in Blancpain next year. 3 of these are likely to be Pro class entries.
As a regular contender in FIA World Endurance Championship and Le Mans Series, the team was founded in 2007, with the original aim to provide a platform for rising star Nick Leventis to compete in sportscar racing.
This focus on developing talent will be the cornerstone of their plans and will see them look to offer opportunities for the current crop of rising stars in single seater racing to progress their career in GTs. This will be in conjunction with McLaren's Academy programme.
The highlight of 2010 was the Le Mans 24 Hours, when they took LMP2 pole and won the class by setting five new event records along the way, including the highest-ever overall finish for an LMP2 chassis – 5th.
At the end of 2010, the team’s achievements were recognised by the British Racing Drivers Club, with the award of the prestigious Nigel Moores Trophy for outstanding achievement in international motorsport.
Since 2014, they have been developing the Strakka DOME S103 for the FIA World Endurance Championship, as well as a successful few years in World Series by Renault, with multiple race wins and podium appearances.
Strakka began the 2015 season with a Nissan Nismo 4.5-litre normally aspirated V8 engined Strakka DOME S103 in the FIA World Endurance Championship. However, after deciding to switch to LMP1 for 2017, the team made the decision to change cars mid-season. This plan to move to LMP1 seems to be longer viable, although they have not ruled out a return to the WEC.
This new announcement represents a new and substantial long-term partnership with McLaren GT, to be its latest customer race team. Underlining Strakka Racing’s intentions from the beginning, is the confirmation that one of the four-cars will host 2017 McLaren GT Academy Drivers.
“Creating this partnership with such an esteemed brand as McLaren is, for me, the most exciting chapter and proud moment in Strakka’s ten year history,” says team founder Nick Leventis. “We are now working with one of the most successful and prestigious GT3 manufacturers with a commitment to build a long term future together. Alongside the opportunity to work closely with a manufacturer such as McLaren GT and join its portfolio of winning customer teams challenging for race victories and championships, we will also support the development of McLaren GT’s Academy Driver programme via our Strakka Performance and Simulation programmes. Nurturing young talent is something Strakka has always been passionate about and this partnership will enable us to use our resources to help such drivers develop. As we know first-hand, aspiring drivers face difficulties raising budgets to compete on the single seater ladder and more and more are turning to GTs.”
No driver line-ups yet for each car and there will be a series of tests later in 2016 to decide.