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Former Mclaren Autosport BRDC Award winner Lewis Williamson will return to racing this year after sealing a deal with Strakka Racing to contest the Renault Sport Trophy.
Williamson, 26 from Dundee, will share one of the R.S.01 GT machines with Strakka Racing regular Nick Leventis in the pan-european sportscar contest. The trophy programme marks an expansion for Strakka, which already competes in the FIA World Endurance Championship’s LMP2 division and the Formula V8 3.5 class. The Renault Sport Trophy shares a calendar with V8 3.5.
Williamson has past experience in the GP3 Series, but hasn’t raced full-time since 2013. He said: “It’s been a long two years but this is the perfect chance to get my career back on track and show what I can do.
“I’ve stayed involved in racing through driver coaching and being an engineer, hoping something would come along. I’ve built a great relationship with Strakka and when Nick tested the car he loved it and asked me to share it with him. It works because the team is already at most of the tracks with the V8 3.5 cars.”
Each Renault Sport Trophy weekend consists of a twodriver endurance race and then two shorter sprint events, allowing Leventis and Williamson to share the car.
Williamson added: “I’ve never driven a GT car before as the Mclaren test for the MABA Award came in the year after I won it . It will take some adapting to but the R.S.01 has good aero and grip, so my GP3 experience should help a lot.
“This year is huge for me as I need to show my potential. Strakka has a lot of other programmes in international racing and a good year could open up extra opportunities.”
said Harrison. “The Gen 3s are different to the Coopers. You have twice the power, a sequential gearbox and much sharper brakes. You have to be more precise with the car to get the most out of it.
“Although Coastal Racing hasn’t run Gen 3s before I know we can figure the cars out quickly. Having Shane as a team-mate is good because we’ll work together on the set-up and two Cooper champions stepping up to the top class shows the championship structure is working.
“I want to be in the top three this year, regularly fighting for wins and podiums. It’ll be tough as some drivers will be going into their second year with the Gen 3s, but I want to keep the momentum of winning a championship going.”