Drayson Racing Takes 4th After Luck Shifts at Lime Rock ALMS LAKEVILLE, CT, USA - Drayson Racing opened the American Le Mans Series Northeast Grand Prix by leaping from fourth starting position to second-place overall by the first turn of the ...
Drayson Racing Takes 4th After Luck Shifts at Lime Rock ALMS
LAKEVILLE, CT, USA - Drayson Racing opened the American Le Mans Series Northeast Grand Prix by leaping from fourth starting position to second-place overall by the first turn of the race. However, a gearshift gremlin in the No.8 Drayson Racing Lola Coupé with Judd Power pulled down the impressive performances of drivers Jonny Cocker (Guisborough, Yorks, UK) and Paul Drayson (Gloucestershire, UK/London). Ultimately the United Kingdom-based team would have to settle with fourth-place in the Le Mans Prototype (LMP) class at the end of the two-hour and 45-minute event here at Lime Rock Park.
Cocker, the youngest-ever British GT Champion, made a remarkable start to overtake two positions and nearly the lead into the first turn of the 1.5-mile/2.4Km, 10-turn circuit. He then hounded the leader until lap six when he used the strength of the second-generation, cellulosic E85 fuelled V10 to take the lead and then pull a nearly eight-second gap by the end of the lap.
The Dale White (Bozeman, MT, USA)-managed organisation dominated the early going of the event until an electrical problem presented itself shortly thereafter. Three times the engine turned-off completely on Cocker; first as he went to the grid and twice as he exited turn two. A cycling of the engine brought the car to life again. However, ultimately, the gear selector began to fail resulting in an extended pit stop as the crew went through the controlled process of isolating the issue. The "never give-up" spirit of the team, so well exemplified at Le Mans earlier this season, again showed through as they returned the car to the track. Cocker immediately returned to where he was before in showing the speed of the British Racing Green entry turning the race's fastest lap at the time.
Cocker handed the No.8 over to driver/owner Drayson with approximately 45-minutes remaining in the fifth round of the ALMS, nine-race season. Drayson wasted no time showing his prowess behind the wheel quickly turning extremely competitive lap times in the closed-cockpit prototype through to the end of the race. Drayson's times erased any worry of a lingering foot injury from earlier in the month.
Television coverage of today's race can be seen in the UK and Europe on MotorsTV with a tape-delayed broadcast, 1 August 17:00 UK)/18:00 (CET).
Paul Drayson\\Owner/Driver: "Unfortunately another technical problem dashed our hopes of a podium result today. We yet again showed we have the absolute pace but endurance racing requires reliability too. We will keep working on that."
Jonny Cocker\\Driver: "Gutted for the team. The car was fantastic at the start of the race and allowed me to take the lead early on. We were feeling good and confident and built a good little lead before the first issue stopped the car. We then spent the next 45-minutes correcting the issue. We managed to regain fastest lap of the race and then handed over to Paul. Everyone did a fantastic job but we're still disappointed to miss out on a potential result. I can't wait until Mid-Ohio."
Dale White\\Team Manager: "There is no question we have the speed and the organisation to be a championship calibre team. Jonny and Paul did a spectacular job today. We know we have the drivers. We are still a young team and we will have days like this where we have the pace on the field but can't bring it home. It is frustrating but we are making strides every weekend and we'll get there yet."