WEC: Strakka confirms plans to enter LMP1 in 2017

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Strakka Racing has confirmed its intention to enter the LMP1 class of the FIA World Endurance Championship for the 2017 season, coinciding with the planned regulation change in LMP2.

As of 2017, LMP2 cars in the WEC, European Le Mans Series, Asian Le Mans Series and the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship will use a chassis from one of four constructors that were named on Thursday.

Subsequently, Strakka has decided to make the step up to the LMP1 privateer class, which currently comprises of Rebellion Racing and Team ByKolles.

“Strakka Racing will develop a new LMP1 car for the team to run in the privateers’ category of the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship,” a statement from the team reads.

“The car, the first to be designed in-house by the British team, will be built at its recently expanded facilities at Silverstone, to compete in the growing LMP1 Privateers’ category of the championship.

“The new car will draw upon advances in 3D printing and additive manufacturing that Strakka Racing has pioneered to shorten manufacturing lead times and reduce project costs, both of which are part of Strakka’s long-term business goals.”

Team principal Dan Walmsley confirmed that the regulation change in LMP2 prompted Strakka to rethink its endurance racing programme before deeming LMP1 to be the most suitable level.

“The 2017 LMP2 regulation changes that restrict the number of chassis manufacturers meant we had to evaluate our current business strategy and seriously look at projects that would enable us to draw on the experiences we have from our LMP2 car,” Walmsley said.

“After evaluating all the options, the LMP1 Privateers’ category now offers the best arena to create our own car, which we will use to showcase our growing knowledge of new design and manufacturing processes to build a cost effective car in the shortest timeframe.

“Strakka Racing is continuing to develop and this will be another step forward to becoming a true sustainable motorsports business.”

The team also confirmed that it would be using a Gibson chassis for the remainder of the 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship season whilst its home-built Strakka Dome S103 is used to help develop the LMP1 car.

NHRA: Brittany Force cleared to race this weekend in Phoenix after bad wreck 2 weeks ago

Photo: John Force Racing
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Drag racing is a Force family tradition. So, too, is not keeping a Force family member down.

Just 12 days after the most serious wreck of her six-year drag racing career, Brittany Force and John Force Racing announced late Thursday afternoon that the defending 2017 NHRA Top Fuel champion has been medically cleared and will indeed race in this weekend’s NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in suburban Phoenix, Arizona.

“I flew into Phoenix early this (Thursday) morning and headed straight out to the race track to meet up with my team,” Force said. “I suited up and got belted back into my car that I ran all last season.

“It honestly felt good to be strapped back in and I was surprised how comfortable I was. I’m looking forward to getting back in my car tomorrow (Friday’s first two rounds of qualifying) and getting back in the swing of things with my guys.”

The 31-year-old Force, one of four daughters of 16-time NHRA Funny Car champ John Force, suffered a concussion and bruising after the hard crash she was involved in on February 11 in the first round of eliminations of the season-opening NHRA Lucas Oil Winternationals in Pomona, California.

Shortly after leaving the starting line in a race vs. Terry Haddock, Force’s dragster crossed from the right to left lanes, impacted the retaining wall with a very hard lateral crash, bounced off, spun, went on its side and briefly caught fire after crossing the finish line wheels-up.

While she is still recovering from the bruising, Force feels strong enough to get back behind the wheel. Getting back in the race car could be the best medicine of all, since she has three runner-up finishes in Phoenix, including back-to-back second-place showings in both the 2016 and 2017 national events.

The three-day event kicks off Friday with qualifying rounds at 4 and 6:30 p.m. ET, the same times as Saturday’s qualifying. Final eliminations begin at 1 p.m. ET Sunday.