Mid-Ohio: Drayson Racing qualifying report

Drayson Racing Earns 1st Career ALMS Pole at Mid-Ohio LEXINGTON, OH, USA - Drayson Racing dominated qualifications for tomorrow's Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge earning the overall pole position in convincing fashion with the No.8 Drayson Racing...

Drayson Racing Earns 1st Career ALMS Pole at Mid-Ohio

LEXINGTON, OH, USA - Drayson Racing dominated qualifications for tomorrow's Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge earning the overall pole position in convincing fashion with the No.8 Drayson Racing Lola Coupe with Judd Power. It is the first career American Le Mans Series (ALMS) Le Mans Prototype (LMP) pole position for the United Kingdom-headquartered team and for drivers Paul Drayson (Gloucestershire, UK/London) and Jonny Cocker (Guisborough, Yorks, UK). Cocker lapped the 2.258-mile/3.63Km, 13-turn, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in one minute, 10.034 seconds. The young Brits' lap was 0.932 seconds quicker than his nearest competitor.

Whilst this is the operations first career ALMS pole position, it is not Drayson Racing's first LMP pole position. In 2009, after only two previous starts with the Lola-Judd combination, Cocker earned the inaugural Asian Le Mans Series pole position for Drayson Racing at the Okayama Circuit in Japan. They went on to win the Michelin® Green X® Challenge there and look to add their second Green X trophy of this season as well as first ALMS race victory in tomorrow's two hour and 45-minute event here at Mid-Ohio.

Cocker took top-spot in qualifying on his third of 10 laps with a time of 1:11.762 and bettered it the following lap with a 1:10.531. After a brief stop to clear the windscreen, the Union Jack-emblazoned entry scorched the Ohio tarmac with a time of 1:10.524 and then, on lap nine, set the pole-winning time. Each of the final two laps would have been quick enough to earn the team its first ALMS pole position.

Drayson Racing entered the 20-minute time trial having led the two preceding official practice sessions. Both Cocker and Drayson proved exceptionally quick here with the closed-cockpit prototype as Paul Drayson was third quickest overall during his time in the Michelin Tyre-shod entry in the second practice immediately proceeding qualifications. Paul will drive the starting stint in the No. 8.

The Dale White (Bozeman, MT, USA)-managed organisation remains fourth in the LMP Team Championship. Jonny Cocker is fifth in the Drivers Championship whilst Paul Drayson is ninth. Team driver Emanuele Pirro (Rome) splits the two in seventh.

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, tape-delayed, in North America on CBS Sports, Sunday, 15 August beginning at 12:30 (ET). UK and European viewers will also see the broadcast on 15 August via MotorsTV starting at 16:30 (UK)/17:30 (CET).

Paul Drayson\\Owner/Driver: "Elspeth and I are absolutely delighted with this result, particularly coming on our wedding anniversary! Our first ALMS pole is a major achievement for the whole team, but particularly Jonny who emphatically demonstrated his incredible speed here today."

Jonny Cocker\\Driver: "Fantastic result for everybody. The car was brilliant. We've really shown that the small improvements we've been making throughout the season are making a difference now. To bring it altogether here at Mid-Ohio, being fastest in both practice sessions and then qualifying, is a great feeling. Now we just need to carry the momentum into the race. I am feeling confident in a really great team result."

Dale White\\Team Manager: "This feels great! First in each session and in qualifications; that's what we have known we can do all along. I am really happy for the whole team and for Paul and Elspeth. They have invested so much emotionally into this that it is wonderful to be able to give them a result. We knew we were quick and we know that we have great race pace. The goal is to have a clean, trouble-free race and try and keep this momentum going into the race."

-source: drayson racing

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