Drayson Racing Storms to Fourth on New England ALMS Grid LAKEVILLE, CT, USA - Drayson Racing driver Jonny Cocker (Guisborough, Yorks, UK) fought through downpour conditions to qualifying fourth overall for tomorrow's American Le Mans Series ...
Drayson Racing Storms to Fourth on New England ALMS Grid
LAKEVILLE, CT, USA - Drayson Racing driver Jonny Cocker (Guisborough, Yorks, UK) fought through downpour conditions to qualifying fourth overall for tomorrow's American Le Mans Series Northeast Grand Prix. Weather and intense competition at the front of the Le Mans Prototype (LMP) grid made for a dramatic battle in challenging conditions. Cocker and co-driver Paul Drayson (Gloucestershire, UK/London) will share the No.8 Drayson Racing Lola Coupé with Judd Power in the two-hour, 45-minute feature here at Lime Rock Park.
The weather added to an already heated battle for the top of the LMP grid. Heavy rain swept over the 1.5-mile/2.4Km Lime Rock Park facility for both of the day's practices proceeding the 20-minute qualifying session. Some of the most intense rainfall came just moments before the flag flew to start the session but gradually decreased over the course of the time trials. The drying track conditions allowed times to fall almost as quickly as the rain had.
Cocker turned a top-three lap early in the session but fell to fourth before bringing the car to pit lane. After a brief stop for a setup adjustment by the Dale White (Bozeman, MT, USA)-managed team, Cocker returned to the track immediately dropping his time considerably, re-capturing the third position. While fighting to better his time again, a slight spin off-course exiting Turn-One of the 10-turn track prevented Cocker from setting a better time and caused slight cosmetic damage to the car. Ultimately, just as the chequered flag flew, the United Kingdom-based team dropped to fourth, narrowly bettered by a fellow Lola Coupé.
Weather promises to play a role in tomorrow's race whether it be wet or dry. Current forecasts call for dry and far warmer conditions at the 14:05 (ET) start. If predictions are correct, Saturday will be the first day of dry running held this weekend at Lime Rock. This will prove a challenge to the engineers who are yet to test a dry-weather setup on the V10-powered, closed-cockpit machine here. Continuing rain would mean a daunting battle on the narrow confines of Lime Rock Park.
Paul Drayson\\Owner/Driver: "It's hard to predict what tomorrow's conditions will bring but whatever the weather does, starting from second row puts us in the hunt."
Jonny Cocker\\Driver: "The P2 cars work really well in these wet conditions due to the narrow tyres and light weight. We knew it was going to be tough to beat those guys. Throughout practice, conditions were very changeable. We had a good balance on the car and were feeling confident for qualifying. Just before the LMP qualifying session the conditions worsened dramatically and as a result we really struggled to find a nice balance in the session. For the conditions I was happy with the lap. Just a shame we missed the driest part of the session at the end. We feel confident for the race and looking forward to driving the car in the dry. We should have a good car in the dry."
Dale White\\Team Manager: "These have been some of the most challenging conditions we have had to run in. It is certainly the worst we've ever qualified in. I think Jonny and the crew did a great job of getting the most out of the car under the circumstances and I am looking forward to racing the car tomorrow. It is especially nice to have Paul back in the car. It doesn't feel right when Paul isn't driving the Drayson Racing entry."
-source: drayson racing