Technical problems again reared their ugly head for Drayson Racing, ending another potentially race winning run for the Anglo-American team.
Jonny Cocker had started the team's Lola-Judd from fourth on the grid (a position Cocker had earned in the previous day's qualifying session) but a startling start saw him almost take the lead into the first, sweeping turn of the 1.5 mile track. However, the early challenge for the lead unsuccessful Cocker settled into second – though he was soon back looking to take Drayson Racing to the head of the Prototype class and overall.
On lap six Cocker's pressure paid, after being officially credited with leading the race's fourth lap he took the lead on a more permanent basis on lap six, taking the Judd-powered coupe into an eight-second lead in just a single lap of the short Connecticut track.
But the electrical problem that was to shackle the team had already appeared. Once already the engine in the car had cut out – as Cocker made his way to the grid at the start of the race – and twice more the motor stopped through turn two, but as cycling the engine cured one problem, another appeared.
This time it was a gear selector problem, which required a lengthy pitstop as the team methodically delved through the car's internal workings to diagnose and solve the problem.
The problem, was, eventually, solved but the delay had dropped the team far away from the lead battle, but the team continued on, with Cocker back in the car, setting the team's fastest lap of the event, the fastest lap of the race at the time.
Cocker passed the car over to team co-owner Paul Drayson with 45-minutes to go, Drayson's pace putting to rest any lingering doubts over his driving ability after recovering from an injury that ruled him out of driving in the previous round.
“Gutted for the team. The car was fantastic at the start of the race and allowed me to take the lead early on,” Cocker explained. “We were feeling good and confident and built a good little lead before the first issue stopped the car. We then spent the next 45-minutes correcting the issue. We managed to regain fastest lap of the race and then handed over to Paul. Everyone did a fantastic job but we’re still disappointed to miss out on a potential result.”
“We are still a young team and we will have days like this where we have the pace on the field but can’t bring it home,” added team manager Dale White. “It is frustrating but we are making strides every weekend and we’ll get there yet.”