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Drayson Racing Wins At Road America!

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On: Mon, Aug 23, 2010 at 4:10PM | By: John Welch

Drayson Racing Wins At Road America!

Some American Le Mans Series races have larger starting grids than others, an unfortunate fact of life for Scott Atherton and the rest of the people tasked with promoting the Series. On weekends that aren't Sebring or Road Atlanta, however, the prototypes that do show up do their best to entertain and astound. This weekend, set in the rolling hills of  Wisconsin, was no different.

The prototypes filling out the LMP category of the race were all seasoned teams, ready to race. Except for one, Intersport Racing. The Fields came to Road America without an engine seated in the rump of their aging Lola chassis, a motor being a fairly important component of motor racing. The Autocon Team, also campaigning a privateer Lola, lent the Intersport a fresh AER engine, though the car wasn't ready for any of the practice sessions or qualifying. An already dismal six-car LMP class was essentially reduced to five cars.

As the race got underway, it became clear that these five cars were determined to put on a good show, as Autocon driver Johnny Miwlem used his turbo-supplied thrust to take the lead from Lord Drayson before the second corner. Drayson dropped another three positions before the end of the lap, obviously going easy on his Lola coupe to ensure that it was still in one piece for his hired shoe, Johnny Cocker. For the moment, the LMP battle involved four cars: The Autocon Lola, Highcroft ARX-01c, the Cyto-Sport Porsche RS Spyder, driven by factory pilot Timo Bernard, and the Dyson AER-Mazda-powered Lola coupe.

The GT race was entertaining enough, the big news being the blue-trimmed Rahal/BMW taking the win, while the red-liveried Bimmer ate sweet, salty wall after getting squozen between an LMPC car and the No.45 Flying Lizard Porsche. The points battle in GT is closer than ever; BMW, Porsche, and Ferrari are all within 11 points of each other. It could come right down to the final round at the Petit Le Mans.

Back to the prototypes. Autocon led more laps than they have been able to all season, but Johnny Mowlem was forced into the pits near the end of the first hour, his transmission stuck in fifth gear. Simon Pagenaud held the lead for a few laps but was overtaken by Guy Smith in the BP Lola. After a furious round of pit stops the lead was held by Klaus Graff in the Cyto-Sport Porsche. The Judd V10-equipped Drayson Lola was faster than the three P2-flavored prototypes, and much faster than the Autocon Lola after it spent close to five minutes in the pits having a broken gear selector repaired.

It was also thirstier than its lighter competition and would require one more pit stop than Dyson, Cyto-Sport, or the Highcroft ARX-01c. Forcefully taking the lead from Graff with 20 minutes left in the race, Johnny Cocker began turning quyalifying times, putting almost 30 seconds between himself and the other LMPs. The only problem—it takes almost 40 seconds just to get on and off pit-lane, which doesn't take into account the actual pit stop. He spent a total of 70 seconds on pit road, allowing Graff to build an nearly insurmountable lead over Cocker. Fearing a shortage of petrol, the Cyto-Sport team instructed Graff to switch his ECU mapping to a leaner setting, allowing the Porsche RS to sip fuel while manitaining pace and staying in the lead.

Though his pit stop was lackluster, it did provide Cocker with enough fuel to turn his ECU controls in the opposite direction; Johnny resumed the qualifying pace he was displaying before hitting pit lane. With mere minutes remaing, the Union Jack painted on the backside of the Drayson Lola was shown to LMP after LMP, first Guy Smith and David Brabham, in the Mazda- and Honda-powered machines, then Cocker set his sights on Klaus Graff.

The call to pit was a one good for Drayson Racing;, the RS Spyder of Klaus Graff began to stutter and slow coming out of the winding Road America chicane, a slight hesitation in Graff's forward progress that cost him the race. The Drayson Lola shot past on the front stretch, giving Drayson its first victory in ALMS competition! A surprise winner, for sure, gremlins and Lord Drayson's sometimes suspect driving having ruined more than one race this season. Complete scoring below . . .

American Le Mans Series powered by eStar

Road America, Elkhart Lake, Wis.

Sunday’s results,
1. (1) Paul Drayson, London, GB; Jonny Cocker, Guisborough, GB; Lola B09 60/Judd (1, LMP), 69.
2. (3) Timo Bernhard, Dittweiler; Klaus Graf, Germany; Porsche RS Spyder (2, LMP), 69.
3. (5) Simon Pagenaud, Montmorrillon, FR; David Brabham, Maidenhead, GB; HPD ARX-01c (3, LMP), 69.
4. (2) Chris Dyson, Pleasant Valley, NY; Guy Smith, Bracken, Yorkshire; Lola B09 86/Mazda (4, LMP), 69.
5. (8) Elton Julian, Santa Monica, CA; Gunnar Jeannette, Salt Lake City, UT; Oreca FLM09 (1, LMPC), 67.
6. (6) Ricardo Gonzalez, Monterrey; Luis Diaz, Mexico City; Oreca FLM09 (2, LMPC), 67.
7. (14) Joey Hand, Sacramento, CA; Dirk Mueller, Monte Carlo, Monaco; BMW E92 M3 (1, GT), 66.
8. (15) Joerg Bergmeister, Langenfield, DE; Patrick Long, Bellaire, FL; Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (2, GT), 66.
9. (11) Olivier Beretta, Monte Carlo, Monaco; Oliver Gavin, Yardley Hastings, GB; Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 (3, GT), 66.
10. (12) Johnny O'Connell, Flowery Branch, GA; Jan Magnussen, Roskilde, DK; Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 (4, GT), 66.
11. (26) Ed Brown, Las Vegas, NV; Guy Cosmo, West Palm Beach, FL; Ferrari 430 GT (5, GT), 66.
12. (17) Jaime Melo, Milan, IT; Gianmaria Bruni, Rome, IT; Ferrari 430 GT (6, GT), 66.
13. (9) Andy Wallace, England; Scott Tucker, Leawood, KS; Oreca FLM09 (3, LMPC), 66.
14. (13) Pierre Kaffer, Salenstein; Mika Salo, Monte Carlo; Ferrari 430 GT (7, GT), 66.
15. (16) Johannes van Overbeek, San Francisco, CA; Scott Sharp, Jupiter, FL; Ferrari 430 GT (8, GT), 66.
16. (30) Seth Neiman, Burlingame, CA; Darren Law, Phoenix, AZ; Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (9, GT), 66.
17. (19) Wolf Henzler, Nuertingen, DE; Bryan Sellers, Braselton, GA; Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (10, GT), 65.
18. (22) Tim Pappas, Boston, MA; Jeroen Bleekemolen, Monte Carlo, Monaco; Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (1, GTC), 64.
19. (27) Robert Rodriguez, Zephyr Cove, NY; Galen Bieker, Burbank, CA; Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (2, GTC), 63.
20. (28) Shane Lewis, Jupiter, FL; Vic Rice, San Rafael, CA; Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (3, GTC), 63.
21. (29) Romeo Kapudija, Lincolnwood, IL; Bill Sweedler, Westport, CT; Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (4, GTC), 63.
22. (23) Duncan Ende, Los Angeles, CA; Andy Lally, New York, NY; Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (5, GTC), 63.
23. (31) Loren Beggs, Montclair, CA; Doug Baron, Pacific Palisades, CA; Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (6, GTC), 61.
24. (20) David Murry, Atlanta, GA; Andrea Robertson, Ray, MI; David Robertson, Ray, MI; Doran Design Ford GT (11, GT), 59.
25. (4) Johnny Mowlem, London; Tony Burgess, Toronto; Bryan Willman, Kirkland, WA; Lola B06 10/AER (5, LMP), 59.
26. (7) Kyle Marcelli, Barrie, ON; Chapman Ducote, Miami, FL; Oreca FLM09 (4, LMPC), 47.
27. (10) Christian Zugel, Holmdel, NJ; Frankie Montecalvo, Highlands, NJ; Oreca FLM09 (5, LMPC), 36.
28. (25) Luke Hines, Essex; Bryce Miller, Summit, NJ; Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (7, GTC), 36.
29. (21) Ryan Dalziel, Orlando, FL; Marc Goossens, Huntersville, NC; Jaguar XKRS (12, GT), 26.
30. (18) Bill Auberlen, Redondo Beach, CA; Tommy Milner, Leesburg, VA; BMW E92 M3 (13, GT), 8, Contact.
31. (33) Scott Tucker, Leawood, KS; Christophe Bouchut, France; Oreca FLM09 (6, LMPC), 8.
32. (24) Bret Curtis, Valencia, CA; James Sofronas, Newport Beach, CA; Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (8, GTC), 8, Gearbox.
33. (32) Jon Field, Dublin, OH; Clint Field, Dublin, OH; Lola B06/10 AER (6, LMP), 6, Mechanical.

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