Momentum Sweeps Britain's Drayson Racing to New England LAKEVILLE, CT, USA - Drayson Racing wasted little time between the celebration of its first American Le Mans Series (ALMS) podium - second in the Le Mans Prototype (LMP) class at the Utah...
Momentum Sweeps Britain's Drayson Racing to New England
LAKEVILLE, CT, USA - Drayson Racing wasted little time between the celebration of its first American Le Mans Series (ALMS) podium - second in the Le Mans Prototype (LMP) class at the Utah Grand Prix - and returning its full focus to the ALMS LMP championship. Saturday, 24 July, the United Kingdom-based team will bring the British Racing Green No.8 Drayson Racing Lola Coupe with Judd Power to New England's pre-eminent road course, Lime Rock Park, for the American Le Mans Series Northeast Grand Prix. Drivers Paul Drayson (Gloucestershire, UK/London) and Jonny Cocker (Guisborough, Yorks, UK) hope to make the most of the team's momentum on road racing's version of "short track" racing.
The 1.5-mile/2.4Km, 10-turn Lime Rock Park facility in Lakeville, CT is the shortest track on-which Drayson Racing will compete all season. In contrast, the last two events were held at two of the three longest tracks of the team's 2010 international schedule. The 8.468-mile/13.629Km-long Circuit de la Sarthe in France hosted the 24 Hours of Le Mans on 12-13 June and, most recently, Drayson Racing captured the Michelin® Green X® Challenge at Utah's 3.048-mile/4.905Km Miller Motorsports Park (MMP). The comparison is staggering when one considers Cocker's qualifying lap at Le Mans was three minutes, 31.862 seconds and his MMP lap - placing the team second on the grid - was 1:34.886. Lap times for the LMP cars at Lime Rock are expected to be well below 50 seconds! A pace dizzying for drivers and spectators alike.
With four classes of cars the two-hour and 45-minute race promises no lack of overtaking on the narrow, tree-lined circuit. Like most of the 2010 tracks which Drayson Racing will wheel the second-generation, cellulosic E85-fuelled prototype, Lime Rock will be a first for team and drivers with the LMP. Drayson and Cocker have both experienced the whirlwind of Lime Rock in 2008 driving the GT class. However, the intensity of the LMP and its close to 800 horsepower engine lapping in under 60 seconds will offer a new world of almost video game-like impressions for the two veteran racers.
The New England Grand Prix marks the return of Paul Drayson from a one-race sabbatical from the car he drives and owns. Shortly before the Utah race, Paul was sidelined by a non-motorsports related ankle injury. Having overseen his team's first podium, Drayson's physicians have cleared him to race in Saturday's event.
Following the Utah success, the Dale White (Bozeman, MT, USA)-managed operation closed the gap to the top-three teams in the LMP Team Championship; sitting fourth, six points behind third. Cocker gained two positions in the Drivers Championship to fifth whilst his absence last round cost Drayson two spots putting him ninth.
Live timing and scoring of all sessions can be found at www.americanlemans.com. The live radio call by Radio Le Mans can be heard at www.radiolemans.com and on Sirius Channel 127 and XM Channel 242. Television coverage of Saturday's race can be seen live on SPEED in North America at 14:00 (ET). MotorsTV will provide a tape-delayed broadcast, 1 August 17:00 UK)/18:00 (CET).
Paul Drayson - Owner/Driver: "Lime Rock is going to be an interesting personal challenge for me as it the first time I will be driving the car using left foot braking, as my right foot isn't up to the braking pressures required to stop the Lola-Judd at the moment. So, I've got to get my head down and get the technique nailed during practice so that I'm not thinking about it in the race, which will be frantic. After Emanuele and Jonny's success at Salt Lake I am relieved to be back driving the car again, but I also know the pressure is on to deliver a good result for the team."
Jonny Cocker - Driver: "I really feel that the result at Salt Lake was a sign of things to come for Drayson Racing. We showed that we're almost there and, with a little more hard work, the team's first ALMS win is only around the corner. I'm really looking forward to Lime Rock. It's going to be a tricky circuit for the heavier cars but we will make it work the best we can. With 33 cars on the circuit traffic is going to be a constant issue for the P cars! The traffic can potentially win or lose you the race. It's a balance between assertive overtaking moves and measured risk. It makes it very exciting!"
(the greatest challenge to the car and the drivers at Lime Rock?) "I think that safety cars are going to play a big part in this race. They can either work for or against, as we found out at Salt Lake. Its swings and roundabouts; sometimes you get the luck, others you lose out! Either way it's going to be an exciting race and I can't wait to get started!
Dale White - Team Manager: "From the standpoint of momentum, we did exactly what we wanted to in Utah. We need to keep that on our side and growing through the next several races. We will be at a slight disadvantage at Lime Rock because the P2 cars are going to be quick through the corners and there are no really long straights for us to regain that. It is such a short track that it is strategically tough. It's fast and you have to be thinking well ahead to make the most of it whether you're in the car or on pit lane. The right call can make or break a race for you at Lime Rock. That's just the kind of pressure I go racing for!"
-source: drayson racing