Drayson Racing to Start Zhuhai Race 5th Overall After Soggy Quals
ZHUHAI, CHINA - Rain is said to be the great equaliser in motorsport and it nearly proved itself so for Drayson Racing today in qualifying for Sunday's 1000KM of Zhuhai (China). Rain has swept over each session leading up to China's first-ever Intercontinental Le Mans Cup (ILMC) race which has allowed the No.11 Drayson Racing Lola Coupé with Judd Power to put added pressure on the heavily-funded factory efforts which dominate the Le Mans Prototype One (LMP1) class. Changing conditions did not swing the privateer-team's way in dry-weather Michelin tyres in a last minute downpour. Cocker turned the fifth-quaickest lap overall for tomorrow's six-hour race with a time of one-minute, 28.916 seconds.
A drying track just prior to the 20-minute qualifying session lulled many teams, including Drayson Racing, to switch to the quicker, slick racing tyres. However, in China's Guangdong Province. The 2005 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia Champion made an impressive run on the puddling track but was not able to get closer than seven seconds to the pole-winning Peugeot. The pole-winning, diesel-powered entry turned its best times early in the session on an "intermediate", wet weather tyre.
Forecasts for tomorrow's 1000KM/six-hour race remain as cloudy as the sky but lean towards sunny. This leaves many questions as the team prepares for the Noon (local time) start, Sunday. The Dale White (Bozeman, MT, USA)-managed programme will attempt to follow its tried-and-true "giant killer" method in the team's 13th, and final, race of 2010. Cocker will start the race before handing the closed-cockpit race car over to Paul Drayson. Weather conditions have limited practice time but both drivers are confident they have mastered the quick track with their Flex-Fuelled LMP1 entry.
Live timing and scoring can be found at www.lemans.org. The live call by Radio Le Mans can be heard at www.radiolemans.com. Flag-to-flag television coverage of the 7 November, six-hour race can be seen after a one-hour tape-delay on MotorsTV. EuroSport will carry the final two hours of the race as well. Highlights are scheduled to be shown on SPEED for North American viewers. Check local listings for specifics in your area, worldwide.
Jonny Cocker\\Driver: "Unfortunately we missed out on the best of the conditions in the qualifying session today. We took a view on what the weather was doing and it didn't work out for us. I managed to get a reasonable lap together to place us P5 on the grid and bring the car home in one piece in the tricky conditions. Looking forward to dry warm-up session tomorrow morning in which we can, hopefully, quickly establish a good, dry-weather setup for the six hours."
Dale White\\Team Manager: "After the morning session when we were able to break into the top-four and split the Audi factory cars we had high hopes for where we'd be in qualifying. But, we rolled the dice on the weather and we came up on the wrong side of it. Jonny did a great job of qualifying fifth and not damaging the car in the rain on the slicks (tyres). We are looking at having a smooth race tomorrow; running our race for six hours and seeing where we are at the end of the day."
-source: drayson racing