Mid-Ohio: Drayson Racing preview

Mid-Ohio Marks Middle of Season for Drayson Racing LEXINGTON, OH, USA - Saturday's Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge marks the middle of the 2010 international sports car racing calendar for Drayson Racing. Whilst most of the American Le Mans Series...

Mid-Ohio Marks Middle of Season for Drayson Racing

LEXINGTON, OH, USA - Saturday's Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge marks the middle of the 2010 international sports car racing calendar for Drayson Racing. Whilst most of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) teams entered in the two-hour, 45-minute event will be seeing only their sixth of a nine-race season, the United Kingdom-based team will be starting their seventh of a 12-race schedule. At season's end, drivers Paul Drayson (Gloucestershire, UK/London) and Jonny Cocker (Guisborough, Yorks, UK) will have piloted the No.8 Drayson Racing Lola Coupe with Judd Power on three continents and in five countries; a feat unmatched by any other privateer entrant and by few of the factory "works" programmes.

Drayson and Cocker have each competed on the 2.258-mile/3.63Km, 13-turn, Mid-Ohio circuit previously. Then, in 2008, it was behind the wheel of a road car-based GT class entry. This week the duo returns in the high-horsepower Le Mans Prototype (LMP) category they have shared since fall of last year. Whilst the progress since the transition has been strong the environmentally oriented programme looks at the long-straights and flowing central Ohio circuit to balance the two internal classes of the LMP category. The closed-cockpit Drayson Lola is an LMP1 design with more horsepower but greater weight. The lighter-weight LMP2 cars, which make up half the LMP field, have an advantage on shorter, tighter courses whereas the LMP1 entries enjoy the benefits of the larger engines on longer, curving tracks. Mid-Ohio's mixture of both long straights and tight turns promises to be one of the best track compromises the Series will see all season.

Remaining on the team's agenda following Mid-Ohio are three ALMS events: Road America in Wisconsin (22 August), Canada's Mosport International Raceway (29 August) and the 13th Annual Petit Le Mans set for its 1000 mile or 10 hour endurance event at Georgia's Road Atlanta on 2 October. Petit Le Mans is also an event within a second championship as well: the three-race the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup. Bracketing the ALMS season finale in the pseudo sports car world championship are the 1000Km Le Mans Series event at the legendary British venue of Silverstone (12 November) and the Asian Le Mans Series' sole event at Zuhai in China (7 November). Drayson Racing was the first privateer entrant to announce its participation in the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, which is expected to grow to six races in 2011.

After five rounds of the nine-race ALMS season, the Dale White (Bozeman, MT, USA)-managed organisation remains fourth in the LMP Team Championship. Cocker is fifth in the Drivers Championship whilst Drayson is ninth. Team driver Emanuele Pirro (Rome) splits the two in seventh.

Quotes

Paul Drayson - Owner/Driver: "We are now half-way through our 2010 campaign and although we've been tantalisingly close, we have yet to translate our pace into consistent results. Mid-Ohio is a fast, swooping circuit and a great opportunity for us to bring everything together and achieve a great result."

Jonny Cocker - Driver: "I think we proved again that our Drayson Racing Lola can compete well with the lighter and more nimble cars round the tighter circuits. With Mid-Ohio featuring quite a mix of corners I think it should make for an interesting weekend's racing. I am looking forward to going back to the Mid-Ohio as I do remember really enjoying the circuit. The mix of high and low speed corners and elevation change makes it pretty interesting to drive."

(Thoughts at Mid-Season): "We had a great run at Salt Lake and again at the start of the race at Lime Rock! It's there for all to see that we're fast and a serious threat too. A little more work on the small issues and then we will be in a strong position to compete for podiums each and every weekend!"

Dale White - Team Manager: "As a young team with what is still a very new car, we knew our 2010 schedule was going to be a daunting one. However, midway through the season I believe we have shown that, on the track and off, we have the speed and the team structure to not only compete but also win. We aren't here just to make laps so I wouldn't say I am satisfied with where we are. However, we have to keep things in perspective. Mid-Ohio will be a good test to see if we can overcome the frustration of Lime Rock and get back to setting the pace as we have done much of the ALMS season."

-source: drayson racing

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Paul Drayson , Jonny Cocker , Emanuele Pirro