PODIUM POSITION FOR LOLA IN CALIFORNIA
Lola was well represented during the traditional American Le Mans Series spring blast through the streets of Long Beach in California this weekend and scored 2nd and 4th placed finishes with the Aston Martin Racing and Dyson Racing teams respectively.
The1hr 45mins sprint race started spectacularly for Lola with the AMR Lola of Harold Primat taking a clear lead from pole position. Jon Field in the Intersport Racing Lola-AER enjoyed his customary charge through the pack and made it a Lola 1-2, when he overtook Chris Dyson in the Dyson Lola-Mazda in to Turn 1.
After an early full course caution, Jon Field was harassing Primat for the lead. Chris Dyson lost his Lola on fluid at turn one and caused another yellow flag.
“One of the Porsches dropped fluid and I was one of the first cars on the scene,” commented Chris Dyson. “I braked and turned in as normal and the front end just washed out. Thankfully the damage was minimal and we were able to continue after stopping for fuel and a check of the nose.”
The impressive Field, who returned to the cockpit after his substantial accident at Sebring last month, took Primat for the overall lead in to Turn 1 and started to pull away from the Aston Martin V12 powered Lola.
Field continued to lead while Primat was collected by David Brabham’s Acura at Turn 8 after an attempted pass. The Lola-Aston Martin continued with rear bodywork damage and Brabham served a stop/go penalty for the incident.
When Intersport Racing hit problems mid-race, it became a two-way fight at the front between Adrian Fernandez in the AMR Lola and the recovering Acura of Simon Pagenaud. In a thrilling climax to the race, Fernandez ran wide in the late stages giving Pagenaud the chance to squeeze through and snatch the win by just 0.3s.
Guy Smith drove an excellent recovery race to finish in 4th position for the ARCO liveried Dyson Lola while the Autocon Motorsports Lola B06/10 of new incumbents Tomi Drissi and Ken Davis finished a solid 5th in LMP after a trouble-free run in the AER powered Lola.
Luck was not on Drayson Racing’s side last weekend as a lengthy driver change pit stop and an incident with a GT car cost the all-green team time. However, the Lola-Judd’s pace was not in question as Jonny Cocker set the 2nd fastest race lap, proving that without the hitches the Drayson Lola-Judd would have been racing right at the front of the field in the closing stages. Lord Paul Drayson who showed increasing confidence in the car to hand over to Cocker in 4th place after a longer than anticipated stint for the team owner.
“I so love this car,” said Paul Drayson after the race in which he and Cocker finished 6th in LMP. “The Lola chassis is just wonderful; it really communicated the grip level as the track conditions changed and that gave me the confidence to push and keep it off the walls.”
The next round of the 2010 American Le Mans Series is at Laguna Seca in California on May 22nd. The race will be a 10-hour endurance test and is likely to feature at least four (Drayson, Dyson, Intersport and Autocon) Lola entries.
All pictures cortesy of americanlemans.com.
2nd overall for the 007 Lola Aston Martin B09/60 at Long Beach.
4th overall for the Dyson-Mazda B09/86.
The B06/10 of Jon and Clint Field was a retirement.
5th in class for the B06/10 of Tomy Drissi and Ken Davis.
The Lola Aston Martin took the lead at the start of the race.