Laguna Seca: Drayson Racing race report

Gearbox Failure Ends Drayson Racing Top-3 Run at Laguna Seca MONTEREY, CA., USA - The American Le Mans Series Monterey was a weekend of great progression for Drayson Racing. After struggling early in the week with setup, the driving team of Paul...

Gearbox Failure Ends Drayson Racing Top-3 Run at Laguna Seca

MONTEREY, CA., USA - The American Le Mans Series Monterey was a weekend of great progression for Drayson Racing. After struggling early in the week with setup, the driving team of Paul Drayson (London/Gloucestershire, UK) Jonny Cocker (Guisborough, Yorks, UK) and Emanuele Pirro (Rome) made the No. 8 Drayson Racing Lola with Judd Power come alive in practice and qualifying. That momentum continued in the race where Drayson, taking the opening double-stint, charged the Lola Coupe up to fourth overall. Cocker then took the Le Mans Prototype (LMP) to third overall before a transmission failure ended the team's day entering Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca's second turn.

Cocker, who had set the second fastest race lap to that point, was settling into his second stint when he went to select a gear. Instead of the familiar sound of the gears engaging, Cocker got an eerie mechanical wail and then no drive to the rear wheels. The 700 horsepower Judd V10 engine continued to run without issue but the final drive in the transmission - the last link to take power from the engine to the rear Michelin tyres - had exploded. The damage was so severe as to prevent the team from making repairs in the race's remaining hours. Team manager Dale White (Bozeman, MT, USA) officially declared the car out of the six-hour endurance event in its third hour. The team had been running third and was well positioned in the second half of the race.

The Drayson Racing organisation now returns to its home facility in the United Kingdom where it will prepare for the 24 Hours of Le Mans; scheduled for 12-13 June. It will be the Drayson programme's second visit to La Sarthe but the first in the LM P1 category having competed in the LM GT2 class last season. Drayson, Cocker and Pirro will drive the car, entered as the No. 11, in the French endurance classic.

Paul Drayson, Owner/Driver: "A painfully disappointing end to a great weekend. However, we know what the problem is and we know we can fix it. So, although we didn't receive the result we wanted at Laguna we know we have a very competitive car and team to take us to the Le Mans 24 Hours next month."

Jonny Cocker, Driver: "Really disappointed obviously. The race, right before the failure, was looking like we could have had a podium. We know that we were quick; we were consistent. The car is very good. We got a lot of time in the car this week. Also, as a team, operationally we have improved as well. We have smoothed out any small issue we might have had. That is all going to help us for Le Mans. We will look forward to Le Mans and make sure everything is sorted."

Dale White, Team Manager: "We're still learning the prototype category and there will be teething issues. However, this has become very frustrating for everyone at Drayson Racing. We had hoped to have a strong race this weekend and finish the full six hours to carry that momentum to Le Mans. That did not happen. We will take a lot of positives away from this including the outright speed of the Lola-Judd and the strength of our driver line-up. We'll also take the negatives and find ways not to repeat them or anything like them in France or for the remainder of the season."

-source: draysonracing.com.

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Series ALMS
Drivers Paul Drayson , Jonny Cocker , Emanuele Pirro