Silverstone, Atlanta, Zhuhai rounds off busy 2010.

“It has been a very busy end to the 2010 season for me and the Drayson Racing team. In the space of six weeks we went from Silverstone to Atlanta and then to Zhuhai in China for the completion of a real globetrotting year for us.

Silverstone in mid September was pretty exciting. We got a great start at the beginning of the Autosport Silverstone 1000kms race and I was up into 5th place from 7th on the grid and had a really exciting battle with the Rebellion Lola’s which was good action packed fun.

We obviously proved that we had the pace to be quick and demonstrated that we were quite a lot faster in the race itself but getting past a car which is absolutely identical in every way is not an easy thing to do without taking quite a risk and at that stage in the race it was not really going to be worth doing. So, I bided my time a little bit but managed to get good track position and had a real ding-dong with Nicolas Prost and there was some contact but there was nothing particularly dirty going on. Sadly we had a few issues and lost out on a probable 5th placed finish but we showed that we were one of the quickest petrol powered cars out there and came home 8th in LMP1.

It was nice being at home and having direct support from my family and friends and we have some great fans as well, many of whom I met over the weekend. I think everyone enjoyed seeing Drayson Racing in the UK for the only time in 2010 and it was great good fun.

Straight after Silverstone we were back across the Atlantic for Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta. It was not the easiest of weekends for the team at all. Emanuelle (Pirro) was back with us, which was fantastic, but he was really unfortunate to have an LMPC car spin in front of him in Free Practice and have a substantial accident. The resulting impact meant that he was unable to drive so that meant Paul and me had quite a task in the race after the team had done an unbelievable job in rebuilding the Drayson Racing Lola-Judd LMP1. We got a good amount of time in the car and Paul did a brilliant job, making a real step up that weekend in terms of consistency. After starting from the back of the grid we were really strong towards the end of the race and it was another case of taking a lot of positives from a tough weekend.

We had a decent four-week break until we reconvened at Zhuhai for the final race of the year. I had been there before in 2007 with a GT1 Aston, so it was quite an interesting to go back with the Drayson Lola-Judd. We had some problems earlier on in the weekend, which meant that we needed an engine change and then we had some other little problems, which kept biting us and made it a difficult race.

Qualifying should have been so good. In the practice sessions we had been quicker than some of the diesels (Peugeot and Audi), and we had perfect pace in the wet with the Lola LMP1. In qualifying we were really hopeful that we could have a good result and raise some eyebrows but we unfortunately made a bit of a mistake on the tyre call. It could have gone our way but it didn’t so it was one of those tricky calls and we ended up P5, which is basically what people would have expected anyway from us, but we had high hopes based on the performance of much more.

The pace when we were settled down in the race and running well was absolutely comparable to all four of the diesel cars, which is again fantastic for us as a team. Although we weren’t classified we still secured third in the Inaugural Intercontinental Le Mans Cup (ILMC). Drayson Racing has also earned four Michelin Green X Challenge trophies since joining the LMP1 ranks in 2009, which is really important for our programme. The Michelin Green X Challenge awards the team, which goes the furthest, the fastest on the least amount of fuel and is a major priority for an environmentally conscious team like us.

We spent some time in Hong Kong after the race before flying home and turning our attention immediately to 2011. On reflection 2010 has been an unforgettable year. Personally I think that I have made a good impression for my first full year in prototypes with my pace. The team deserved that win at Road America. We should in fact have had a few more wins but that’s racing. Ultimately we proved that we were among the quickest and best teams in the ALMS this year and that is a massive testament to Paul’s vision for the team. Working with great companies like Lola and Judd makes it all the more enjoyable and it seems a great time now for me to thank everyone in the team for a great season."

Jonny Cocker