JONNY ON THE SPOT: BLOGGING FROM JAPAN The Drayson Racing "World Tour" wraps up this weekend with the team's entry into the inaugural race for the Asian Le Mans Series at Okayama, Japan. Former British GT champion Jonny Cocker...
JONNY ON THE SPOT: BLOGGING FROM JAPAN
The Drayson Racing "World Tour" wraps up this weekend with the team's entry into the inaugural race for the Asian Le Mans Series at Okayama, Japan. Former British GT champion Jonny Cocker will drive with Paul Drayson in the Drayson Judd-powered Lola B09/60 coupe in the LMP1 class, the third race for the team's prototype. Cocker, one of the sport's brightest young stars, is keeping americanlemans.com readers up-to-date with a blog from the Far East.
Hey everyone! So I wanted to write this blog this week to give an insight into what it's like to be driving the Drayson Racing Lola-Judd LMP1 car at the Asian Le Mans Series race weekend.
I'm feeling good this weekend, now having driven the car a few times at Atlanta then a couple of weeks ago at Laguna; I'm starting to get to grips with the differences between the Aston Martin Vantage GT2 and the Lola coupe. Each time we run the car we are learning lots. It's certainly been a pretty steep learning curve and I still can't help but feel that it's VERY, VERY fast in every single way. I suppose in making the step up from GT2 to LMP1 that's pretty inevitable. It's all making sense. The Lola coupe is an amazing car to drive and I'm looking forward to seeing how it feels around this tight and twisty circuit.
Having raced in the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia in 2005 and taking the Championship at Macau, I have some experience of racing in the Far East but up until now never Japan. So I'm really looking forward to finding out what it's like; not only the motorsport but the culture! Everyone tells me it's a fantastic place so hopefully I'll get a chance to explore around before the weekend gets under way! And maybe even a little celebration in Tokyo with the team before we fly back home. For now I think I'll concentrate on making sure we have something to celebrate first!
First of all was the long trip over to Japan from my home in the UK. Four car trips, two trains, two planes - one very 'interesting' landing - a motor coach and 32 hours later I was ready to crash out at the hotel! Luckily I'm a bit of a 'pro' when it comes to sleeping so most of the trip I spent listening to my iPod asleep... certainly passes the time pretty well!
Tuesday, myself and Tom Moore - the Drayson team press officer - took a walk around the Okayama track. Over the last couple of weeks I have been trying my best to learn the track by watching on-board footage but nothing really quite helps as much as taking a slow walk or bike ride round the circuit to pick up on some of the smaller details! First impressions are that it's all pretty tight and slow; lots of hairpin corners and interesting camber changes. I'm sure it should make for some pretty interesting racing!
So, while I sit here typing away the team is busy working on the car, preparing for our first session on Friday morning. There's plenty to do after the damage the car sustained in the crash at Laguna but its all looking pretty good now so I'm confident that we will be out to learn the track and establish a set-up for the car first thing Friday. Yet again the team has done an amazing job!
I'll be posting up updates throughout the week so make sure to check back and see how myself and the team are getting on here in Japan!
*Note: For more on Jonny, visit jonathancocker.com or draysonracing.com.