Drayson Racing Knocked Out of Monterey Championship on 3rd Lap
SALINAS, CA, USA - The positiveearly weekend results which Drayson Racing compiled here at the Monterey Sports Car Championships were for naught by the end of the third lap of today's four hour race. The No. 88 Drayson Racing Lola with Judd Power, being driven by Paul Drayson (London/Gloucestershire, UK) and Jonny Cocker (Guisborough, Yorks, UK), was knocked out of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) finale whilst running fifth in the Le Mans Prototype 1 (LMP1) class. Coming to the bottom of the hill after Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca's famous "Corkscrew", the Drayson entry was struck on the left-rear and pushed into the tyre barrier causing further, and extensive, damage to the right-side of the car. Fortunately, Drayson, who was driving at the time, was unhurt.
Drayson Racing showed its speed almost immediately at its inaugural LMP1 event, 26 September, at Petit Le Mans. This weekend, the programme was even more impressive with two-time British GT Champion Cocker qualifying the closed-cockpit prototype third in class and Drayson running the third quickest time in class during the morning warm-up.
The race-ending impact came as Drayson followed the racing line into the ninth corner of the 2.238-mile, 11-turn facility. An over-ambitious move from the following car struck the left-rear tyre of the British-built prototype pushing the car into the tyre barrier. The 18.5 G impact destroyed the right-side of the Lola bending both front and rear suspensions, shattering the bodywork, the undertray and transmitted the major force of the strike to the transmission. The left-rear wheel was also destroyed by the collision of the initial hit.
Whilst this is the last race of the season for the ALMS competitors, Drayson Racing has two additional international events on its calendar. The Dale White (Bozeman, MT, USA) managed team will compete in the inaugural Asian Le Mans Series events in Okayama, Japan on 31 October and 1 November. Minimum repair time to have the car race-ready, taking proper care to inspect all parts, will be three days. The car is scheduled to leave for Japan on Wednesday, 14 October. Lola Cars and other suppliers have already been contacted and are moving to have parts shipped to both California and Japan.
Paul Drayson, Driver/Owner: "Going off on turn-nine, the fastest corner of the circuit is never going to end well and this certainly didn't. It was a big impact but the safety systems on the car did a great job and I walked away fine. Very tough end to the weekend for everyone in the team but we are now focused on getting the car ready for our last races of the year in Japan at the end of the month."
Daughter of Driver, Age 6: "It was really, really bad. It was so bad that I was scared. It was all slippery and someone bashed him. The Drayson Racing team tried and cleared it up. THE END!"