JONNY COCKER'S LOLA DIARIES: ONWARD TO ROAD AMERICA Second straight pole, first race victory in the offing this weekend? It's been a crazy time in terms of the schedule since Le Mans for us all at Drayson Racing. It seemed that no time had...
JONNY COCKER'S LOLA DIARIES: ONWARD TO ROAD AMERICA
Second straight pole, first race victory in the offing this weekend?
It's been a crazy time in terms of the schedule since Le Mans for us all at Drayson Racing. It seemed that no time had passed from us taking the checkered flag at Le Mans before we were going into three races in five weeks (Salt Lake City, Lime Rock and Mid-Ohio.)
I, the team and our Lola-Judd have been improving throughout the year and I think we really have made a step, especially since the Mid-Ohio race a couple weeks ago. As we saw at Mid-Ohio, where we were by far the quickest throughout the weekend and claimed our first pole position, that hard graft has really paid off. You don't get these things for free, especially in championships like the American Le Mans Series. The Drayson Racing team have all worked really hard with Lola and Judd.
The potential has been apparent to everyone that we are a very quick proposition and at Lime Rock in July we were fast through all the sessions. We led the race and started to pull away before we had a problem later on but at the end of the day that's racing. It sounds a bit of a cliché to say but it's the way it goes sometimes. You have good luck one day and the next you don't.
In terms of confidence within the team, the great thing is that everybody knows now that the Drayson Lola-Judd is the car to beat. We were well ahead in qualifying at Mid-Ohio but it didn't go our way in the race after an incident with a GT car, but as a team we move on and take the positives from the experience. We immediately believe, 'the next race is ours.'
We are going to one of my favorite tracks next - Road America. I know that our Lola-Judd LMP will be incredible around there. The Lola is genuinely thrilling to drive, it's so much fun, just superb. Road America is a seriously fast race circuit and it reminds me so much of the run from Mulsanne down to Indianapolis at Le Mans.
At Lime Rock we were fourth on the grid and then I got a great start to go into second place straightaway. I could have been a little bit bolder and pushed for the lead at the start but at the end of the day it's a two-hour, 45-minute race. It took a little bit of patience but I passed Chris (Dyson) pretty quickly and then started to pull away before an electrical issue. That was disappointing but as I say, we get over these things as a team and we get over them quickly.
I qualified in P2 at Salt Lake and got into the lead on the first lap and was actually passed by Jon (Field) at the start, but I got him again and from there I was just biding my time. There was no rush and I passed him with a nice little move and pulled away. I think I got a 28-second lead and then the safety car came out, so it was frustrating because all that hard work had gone. Emanuele (Pirro) who was subbing for the injured Paul (Drayson) brought the car home for a solid second place, which was a nice reward for the guys in the team.
I think we are now really making waves in the ALMS and people are sitting up and taking notice, which is nice because we all want to make a name for ourselves. Let's hope we can really follow up our results and pace with a debut win in Wisconsin this weekend and I look forward to sharing my experiences with you after the following race at Mosport at the end of the month.
Cocker, Drayson Racing and the rest of the American Le Mans Series powered by Tequila Patrón will contest Round 7 of the 2010 championship this weekend - the American Le Mans Series powered by eStar at 2:05 p.m. CT on Sunday, August 22 from Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis. SPEED will air the race live at 3 p.m. ET with live radio coverage available on American Le Mans Radio presented by Porsche - a production of Radio Show Limited - as well as Sirius Channel 127 and XM Channel 242. Americanlemans.com will stream Friday's qualifying session starting at 3:10 p.m. CT. Visit the Series' schedule page for ticket and accommodation information. Live Timing and Scoring, track schedule, entry list and much, much more will be available on Racehub at americanlemans.com.