Q & A with Danny Watts
|By Gary Watkins||Monday, June 11th 2012, 18:38 GMT|
Strakka Racing driver Danny Watts is returning to the Le Mans 24 Hours for a fifth time. He talks to AUTOSPORT.com about the team's aspirations and its chances of emulating its top-six finish of 2010.
Q. What's the feeling in the Strakka camp now that Le Mans week is underway?
Danny Watts: We're definitely confident. Timewise the Test Day was very encouraging for us because of our pace against the other privateers. Our car was good straight out of the box: it had good grip, was good on the brakes, had good traction and we looked strong on straight-line speed.
Q. Can you challenge the factory LMP1s from Audi and Toyota?
DW: No, that is is not realistic at all. I think they have a little bit in reseve and they can turn it on as and when they need to. We are battling the Rebellion Lolas, the Pescarolo Dome and JRM's HPD.
Q. Which of those teams is going to be your biggest opponent for best of the rest behind the factories?
DW: I would say it has to be Rebellion and its two Lolas, and in particular the car driven by Neel Jani, Nicolas Prost and Nick Heidfeld. I see that car being our main rival if it is reliable.
Q. Is it realistic to finish in the top six again?
DW: We know we have the reliability and the pace over one lap, and the top speed is really strong in comparison to our petrol rivals, so on paper yes we can do it.
Q. In Nick, you have the only true non-professional racing in LMP1 at Le Mans this year, so are there any concerns there?
DW: Nick has bought an old Formula Renault 3.5 and done a lot of mileage over the winter. He has stepped up his game and he is getting more and more confident, which is so important when you are driving a big and powerful LMP1 car. I have total confidence that he will reel off the laps without making a mistake night or day.
Q. What are you tactics going to be come 3pm on Saturday afternoon?
DW: We are just are going to do what we did in 2010, which won us LMP2. That was not to worry about anyone else and stick to our own game plan.