Portimao: Drayson Racing race report

Engine Issue Sidelines Drayson Racing During Best Race of Year PORTIMAO ALGARVE, PORTUGAL- Overall, Drayson Racing had its best weekend of its short career at this weekend's 1000k of Algarve. The No. 87 Drayson Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT2...

Engine Issue Sidelines Drayson Racing During Best Race of Year

PORTIMAO ALGARVE, PORTUGAL- Overall, Drayson Racing had its best weekend of its short career at this weekend's 1000k of Algarve. The No. 87 Drayson Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT2 ran as high as second in the race and was regularly in the top five throughout practice and the event itself. However, it was not to end as well as it began. An oil alarm sounded as Paul Drayson (London/Gloucestershire, UK) turned his quickest laps of the weekend. Drayson, who took the wheel from race starter Jonny Cocker (Guisborough, Yorks, UK), was running fourth during his first stint of the 215 lap/six hour race when he pulled the car slowly into the garage here at the Autodromo do Algarve. While not completing 70% of the race's event kept the car from earning official Le Mans Series classification, the car completed 47 laps to finish 10th.

Cocker started the car eighth on the LM GT2 class grid. The young Brit quickly made up ground eventually moving to fourth. Drayson took over the baton at the first pit stop and came out running second. However, at 20:38 - roughly one hour 20 minutes into the race - Drayson reported an oil pressure alarm. He immediately brought the Michelin tyre-shod car into the garage at 20:42. Upon review, the crew discovered a large pool of oil in the undertray at the rear of the car. The team affected repairs sending Cocker back out one hour and 20 minutes later. The issue would prove terminal however as a second oil pressure alarm sounded at 22:10. Dale White (Bozeman, MT, USA), team manager, withdrew the car at 22:15 officially listing a terminal issue with a critical component of the engine.

Quotes

Paul Drayson, Driver/Owner: "Well, the emotions this weekend matched the rollercoaster track here at Portimao. To run so close to the front was a wonderful feeling. With a great strategy and pace, our best ever result looked in prospect until, of course, the engine failure. At first I thought the wild oversteer was a problem with tyre pickup and just pressed on until an oil pressure warning came up. Turned out we had oil dripping onto the rear tyres which made the handling a bit interesting. We know we have the pace now. Just not enough reliability yet."

Jonny Cocker, Driver: "This was the best run that we've had in terms of pace to the leaders during a race run. We were running P4 [position four] when I unfortunately lost a bit of time as one of the Orecas went to pass me on the last turn and pushed me out wide. We lost time to the P3 Ferrari which kept us from gaining the position. If that hadn't happened, after the pit stops Paul would have come out leading the race. Up until the problem we were really looking good. Big shame but very promising progress."

Dale White, Team Manager: "This is extremely frustrating. We were right there on pace and strategy. I never like to predict but a podium finish was in the cards this weekend."

-credit: draysonracing.com

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About this article
Series European Le Mans
Drivers Paul Drayson , Jonny Cocker