LOLA ON THE PODIUM AT SEBRING
Lola LMP sports cars enjoyed an exceptional start to the 2010 season at last weekends Sebring 12 Hours. Podium positions for Aston Martin Racing and Dyson Racing, as well as the second fastest lap of the race for Drayson Racing were the highlights of a hugely encouraging weekend for the Huntingdon constructor in Florida. Emanuele Pirro proved to be the star of the first few hours of the race in the Drayson Racing Lola LMP1, as he challenged for the overall lead with the diesel powered Peugeot’s. In what was the move of the race, the four-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner sensationally scythed through several GT2 runners before outbraking Sebastien Bourdais to take a brilliant second place.
The Drayson Lola pursued the leading Peugeot until the first round of pit stops with Pirro having already set the second fastest lap of the race. However, along with team mates Paul Drayson and Jonny Cocker, Pirro was disappointed that an alternator problem cost the car several laps and ultimately resulted in a 12th placed finish for the Judd powered Lola.
“The car is very, very strong,” said Pirro after the race. “Personally, the positive thing is that I found the speed and the race craft as I left it two years ago. All the things are still there and this is great for me.”
Aston Martin Racing scored another fine result with the V12 powered Lola B09/60 LMP1. Stefan Mucke was drafted in to the team to join Adrian Fernandez and Harald Primat and the experienced trio had a solid race to claim the final podium position in LMP1.
Despite early problems, Dyson Racing finished third in LMP2 running for the first time on Biobutinol fuel. Team newcomer Andy Meyrick joined Chris Dyson and Guys Smith for the first time and the Welsh racer enjoyed his debut with the Dyson Lola-Mazda and was able to take many positives from the weekend.
“I’ve never learned so much from one race in my entire life!” enthused Meyrick. “It was incredible. I felt that I learnt more about sports car racing in that one race than I probably did in the whole of last season; it was fantastic. All kinds of things, from how to approach the race to strategy to race craft.”
Autocon Motorsports were unable to ready their car after engine problems in the morning warm up and the team now look forward to Long Beach in four weeks time.
All pictures courtesy of americanlemans.com.
Third in LMP2 for Drayson Racing.
Dyson Racing Lola-Mazda B09/86 was out of luck.
The Lola Aston Martin took third in LMP1...
...and third overall.
The Drayson Racing B09/60 Judd of Paul Drayson, Jonny Cocker and Emanuele Pirro in the pits.