SECOND FOR DRAYSON RACING AT ALMS UTAH GP
On a weekend of significant firsts, Drayson Racing topped it off with a hard-fought second-place overall result -- its highest career American Le Mans Series (ALMS) finish -- at today's Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix. Coupled to the podium finish at Miller Motorsports Park (MMP), was the team's second career Michelin® Green X® Challenge victory; a major objective for the environmentally-focused organisation. Drivers Jonny Cocker and Emanuele Pirro each led the race for a combined total of 32 laps in the No.8 Drayson Racing Lola Coupé with Judd Power during the 91 lap event. It was the first time the United Kingdom-based programme had led in the ALMS.
Cocker started the two-hour and 45-minute Le Mans Prototype (LMP) race from the team's best-ever ALMS qualifying position, second, and took the top-spot for the first time 30 minutes into the race using slower traffic to capture then extend the lead. The quick, young Englishman held the top-spot until 59-minutes into the race when he pitted with a 34-second lead. The stop for second-generation E85 bio-ethanol fuel, four Michelin tyres and the driver change to Pirro slipped the team back to third. Pirro, the 2006 winner of this event, reclaimed the lead 35-minutes later and held it until the team's second stop for fuel with just under 45-minutes remaining in the race. He would take the chequered flag 19 seconds behind the winning entry. Pirro would also claim the Dale White-managed team's first fastest race lap in an ALMS event three laps prior to the final fuel stop with a lap of one minute, 36.291 seconds.
Pirro, Drayson Racing's endurance event driver, joined Cocker after a non-motorsports-related injury forced driver/owner Paul Drayson to sit out this event. Drayson, who was on-site for the successful day, badly sprained his right ankle preventing him from driving today. He will return for the next event at Lime Rock Park (CT) on 24 July.
Drayson Racing concluded its best weekend of prototype racing to-date by accomplishing one of its founding objectives: winning the Michelin® Green X® Challenge. The award for the most efficient and competitive performance in an Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO)-sanctioned series is part of the team's founding principal to utilise motorsport to advance the development of sustainable motoring. It marks the second time the team has won the award having first achieved it in the Asian Le Mans Series inaugural event in Okayama, Japan, November 2009.