Atlanta, GA: For Jason Workman, a "DNF" (Did Not Finish) is a relatively rare occurrence, perhaps unusually so. In 2003, Workman scored points in all but one event of the season, coincidentally Sebring, which brought him within reach of the LMP2...
Atlanta, GA: For Jason Workman, a "DNF" (Did Not Finish) is a relatively rare occurrence, perhaps unusually so. In 2003, Workman scored points in all but one event of the season, coincidentally Sebring, which brought him within reach of the LMP2 Championship throughout the year. He was the only driver who achieved this record of consistency and reliability. However, his "Teen Arrive Alive" Lola Nissan B2K/40 failed to finish the 52nd running of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring on March 20, when co-driver Bobby Sak had contact and went off track breaking the gearbox. This ended the race for the M3 Motorsports/American Spirit Racing entry, made all the more frustrating because it occurred while the car was in the lead (LMP2).
"It is a huge disappointment," said Workman. "We struggled with some problems earlier in the week, including an engine malfunction, and finally seemed to be on the right track toward a good finish to start the season. I think that we would have won LMP2 rather comfortably had we been able to continue to the checkered flag. The car felt very strong."
Workman qualified the Lola Nissan 5th in LMP2 (17th overall) with a qualifying time of 2:04.076, while running on only 5 cylinders due to an electrical engine management problem However, with the endurance factor of a 12-hour race to make up the difference in qualifying, Workman and his co-drivers, Scott Bradley and Bobby Sak were confident they could maintain a solid pace to keep them in the hunt for the LMP2 win.
"Jason drove his heart out in qualifying," noted car owner, Alex Graas. "His performance was simply outstanding given the engine problem we had during qualifying. He provided us the best grid position possible under the circumstances."
A new engine was secured and installed overnight by the crew headed by veteran Tony Dowe. Workman started the race and worked his way steadily into 2nd (in LMP2) before handing controls over to Scott Bradley who improved the position to 1st and was increasing his lead when he turned the car over to Sak for his stint behind the wheel. Regrettably, it was at this stage, four hours into the race, when the promising race came to an abrupt and premature end.
"The schedule break before the next race (Mid-Ohio) will give us time to re-group," said Workman. "We will come back stronger and more determined than ever. Sebring was a disappointment last year too, but we managed to adjust and campaign for the rest of the season successfully with five podium finishes."
The next event of the American Le Mans Series is Mid-Ohio on June 25-27.