Watts comes within a whisker of victory

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In a flat-out finish to the 6-Hours of Silverstone, Thornborough’s Danny Watts drove 28 qualifying-style laps on his final stint to come to within half a second of winning the FIA World Endurance Championship Privateers’ category for the Whittlebury-based Strakka Racing team at their home event.

The close second-place finish moves Strakka Racing into second position in the overall standings.

Strong showings from Jonny Kane and Nick Leventis ensured the team was in the hunt for the LMP1 Privateers’ award when Watts took over with two and a half hours remaining.

With the team’s Honda Performance Development ARX-03a running fast and reliably, Watts came from over a minute behind the leading Privateer car to help Strakka Racing finish second Privateer, fifth overall and third in the Michelin Green X Challenge.

After the race, Watts said: “It was tough, but a lot of fun. It’s good when you’ve got a carrot like that to chase down and every lap was like a qualifying lap.

“My final stint was the longest I’ve ever driven any car for at that pace in my life. I felt massively dehydrated when I got out of the car, but the chase kept me going.

“I could see we were catching the Rebellion Lola car and that, together with the guys on the pit wall, spurred me on, and as we crossed the finish line it was just a stone’s throw away.

“That’s frustrating, because one more lap and we’d have had him. Our car’s been great, we’ve scored good WEC points and the entire team never put a foot wrong all weekend.

“Jonny and Nick did a great job before me to put the car right up in a position to challenge for the Privateer win, and we know we can challenge for that award every time we race now.”

Nick Leventis, Strakka Racing’s team owner, commented: “I’m immensely proud of the entire team and the fantastic result we’ve achieved in front of our home fans.

“To finish second in the Privateers’ category by only half a second after such a charge is a formidable effort by everyone.

“Jonny and especially Danny drove remarkably well, and whilst we almost won, full credit must go to Rebellion for triple-stinting its tyres towards the end and holding on for victory.

“Had the race been just one lap longer, the result may have been different.”

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