Jason Workman's season ends 90 minutes short Atlanta, GA: Jason Workman, Scott Bradley and Andrew Davis and the MergeCare/Essex Racing Lola Nissan were credited with 4th place in LMP675 (25th overall) after the grueling 10 hour Petit LeMans drew...
Jason Workman's season ends 90 minutes short
Atlanta, GA: Jason Workman, Scott Bradley and Andrew Davis and the MergeCare/Essex Racing Lola Nissan were credited with 4th place in LMP675 (25th overall) after the grueling 10 hour Petit LeMans drew to a close on October 18. With series leading Chris Dyson scoring additional points with a 2nd place finish and Workman unable to win the LMP675 division race, the championship went to Dyson. But it was closer than it may appear.
In order to win the championship, Workman had to win the LMP675 division race and Dyson had to fail to score additional points. At the three-quarter stage of the race, it looked like Workman's chances for success were becoming more plausible. Dyson had indeed found some trouble and was charging hard in order to finish 70% of the distance in order to qualify for points. In similar fashion, for much of the middle to late portion of the race, the MergeCare Essex Racing Lola Nissan was in first place in the LMP675 division. If the Petit LeMans race was a seven hour race, the results may have been entirely different. But the Petit LeMans race is a ten hour challenge (or 1,000 miles) and like many endurance races, the final laps often dictate the outcome.
All season long, it had been reliability that had brought Jason Workman to the possibility of a championship. Together, Workman and the Nissan power had scored points in all but one event of the 2003 season. No other team had shown such reliability. Workman and his teammates were anticipating that the 10 hour endurance run might work in their favor once again and this time bring to the team their first outright LMP675 victory of the season. Heading into the final stages of the event, that was exactly what was occurring.
But at 7:25pm, the MergeCare/Essex Racing Lola lost oil pressure -- all of it. Pulling into the pits, the team discovered that an oil coupling had failed and all the oil had been pumped out of the engine. The damage had been done. "Even the Nissan can't run without oil," noted the disappointed Workman. His race and his chances for a championship were finished. Some 30 minutes later, at approximately 8pm, Chris Dyson and the Dyson Racing Lola crossed the 70% distance threshold, securing the LMP675 Championship for the Dyson team.
"I congratulate Chris on the championship," said Workman. "He really deserves it and the Dyson team deserve it. They were obviously the team to beat this season. We were trying hard to sneak in and grab the championship from under their noses at the last race of the season but they were up to the challenge and kept the crown for themselves. It was a great season and I'm extremely happy to have been a part of it. Thanks to MergeCare, my crew, to Michael Gue and Tony Dowe of Essex Racing and all my co-drivers all season long who contributed to our success. It's been the best year of my career."
Workman looks forward to returning to American LeMans series competition next year. If 2003 is to be our guide, he looks forward to another great season of exciting endurance racing.