Drayson Racing Shows Total Focus in Monterey Qualifying MONTEREY, CA., USA - Paul Drayson (London/Gloucestershire, UK) promised total focus by his Drayson Racing operation following completion of his stint as UK Science Minister. The...
Drayson Racing Shows Total Focus in Monterey Qualifying
MONTEREY, CA., USA - Paul Drayson (London/Gloucestershire, UK) promised total focus by his Drayson Racing operation following completion of his stint as UK Science Minister. The driver/owner of the No. 8 Drayson Racing Lola with Judd Power wasted no time in proving the point, placing his team fifth on the grid for Saturday's six-hour American Le Mans Series Monterey (Calif.). It was Drayson's first career qualifying effort in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) and with the team's Lola Coupé, which he shares with Jonny Cocker (Guisborough, Yorks, UK) and Emanuele Pirro (Rome).
This result was made even more impressive by the circumstances leading into the 20-minute qualifying session for Le Mans Prototypes (LMP). In the weekend's second official practice, just 30 minutes prior to the qualifying session, a transmission issue on the closed cockpit sports car spun Paul off the track. Drayson struggled to re-start the car but the Dale White (Bozeman, MT, USA) managed team deduced the issue and created a temporary solution allowing the No. 8 to return in time for qualifying. With a dramatic set of start-up instructions and only enough life on the small diameter clutch for one start, Drayson pulled onto the Northern California-area race course with the high expectations of the team.
Drayson, who will start tomorrow's event at 2:30 (PT), did a great job getting the Michelin tyre-shod car up to speed quickly. The low tack of the track and the strength of the tyres allowed Drayson to turn his hot lap on the seventh loop of the circuit. He bettered his personal best of the weekend and earned the sixth fastest time of the session. However, due to the moving of the No.1 Highcroft Racing entry to the back of the grid, Drayson will take the green flag fifth, inside of Row Three.
Paul Drayson, Owner/Driver: "The team did an amazing job getting the car fixed in less than 20 minutes. Although it was a temporary solution, as we didn't have time to split the gearbox from the engine to fix the clutch properly - it lasted long enough! Coming out of government after five years is certainly going to help my racing. I feel more relaxed and focused this weekend than ever before and that has to make a difference. I'm so happy to have done my first ever ALMS qualifying run. It's given me a confidence boost and is another milestone in my racing career. With me starting we have our optimum race strategy and the car is quick, so things are looking good."