For the Second in our Preparations for Le Mans Series we spoke with Strakka Racing’s Danny Watts about the different areas of driver preparation for the Great Race. Danny, Jonny Kane and Nick Leventis are together for a seventh-year as a driver squad and have achieved class victories as well as 5th overall in 2010. Like a family they know each others traits well, Jonny is the slightly older brother, but between the three of them there are no egos. With 19,600 gear changes and 6,300 kilometres under their collective belt this is one driver line-up that has put in the effort together. They go to La Sarthe prepared and ready for what its prized circuit has to throw at them.
With Danny Watts we walked briefly through the different aspects of Driver Preparation:
- Physical – Fitness, food & hydration (Danny was off to a 13km mud run to tick all boxes!)
- Visual – Whether passing or being passed your spatial awareness & peripheral vision must be like a sixth sense
- Psychological – The importance of rest, inner strength and peace
We also discussed the particular aspects of Le Mans that make it more than a 24-hour challenge like the punishing Pre-Race schedule which eats at a driver’s ability to rest up, as well as the distractions of being in a motorhome in the midst of a motor sport party! Touching on the race, how different drivers handle it, how for Danny gaps between stints fly by and it is endurance from first thing on Saturday to the finish that is required.
It will of course be the last year of the open cockpit prototypes at Le Mans and whilst much has been learnt by the closed cockpit Onroak-Ligiers and Orecas, it is hoped that a final run for a Gibson can bring home a class win/podium which, given recent LMP1 reliability, delivers the prospect of a potentially high overall finishing position.
Listen in and hear what Danny has to say in his own words –
We look forward to bringing you more from Strakka Racing hopefully from Team Principal, Dan Walmsley. If there is anything you would like to know please drop a tweet to @SportsCarGlobal tagged #AskSCG.