Thornborough’s Danny Watts displayed star qualities last weekend by finishing the Le Mans 24-Hour Race in sixth position, write Colin and James Beckett.
Driving for the Whittlebury-based Strakka Racing team, Watts was in superb form throughout the 90th anniversary of the world famous event, leading the Strakka team to victory in the Privateers’ Championship in the process.
Joined in the driver line-up by Jonny Kane and Strakka team-owner Nick Leventis, Watts fully deserved his result with a drive that can’t fail to have been noticed by the bosses of Audi Sport, Toyota and Porsche.
Watts said: “Le Mans is always such a difficult race for so many reasons, 56 cars start and traffic is very difficult, especially if you are in a fast prototype car. You have to be so alert all the time and keep your eyes firmly on the road. You can’t afford to lose concentration for just one minute.”
Qualifying sessions suffered delays due to incidents and wet weather, and so Watts was forced to start the race from a lower grid position than expected due to the fact that not all of his team-mates had completed enough qualifying laps to start the race.
Handed the opening stints, Watts drove well to move the Strakka car through the pack and by the time the driver rotations started Strakka found themselves in a strong position to challenge for a top six finish.
Further incidents involving their class rivals, Rebellion Racing, on Sunday morning allowed Strakka to move to the top of the Privateer class, and victory was assured at 3pm when the chequered flag fell to signal the end of the 24 hours.
Watts added: “The whole team did an amazing job. We did have problems during qualifying, but in the race the car ran very well and we only encountered the usual things that happen during the Le Mans 24-Hour Race.
“We didn’t lose too much time, and Jonny had a small spin and had to be pulled out of the gravel. But apart from that it went really well and it was a great feeling to stand on the podium to receive our trophies for winning the Privateer class.”