“A disappointing end to a great week” was how driver and team co-owner summed up the end of Drayson Racing's weekend at the Mid-Ohio Sportscar Course, the team's race coming to an early conclusion after an accident with a GTC class Porsche.
The team – drivers Jonny Cocker and Drayson – had dominated the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) Mid-Ohio Sportscar Challenge in the build up to the race, topping the two practice sessions before Cocker claimed the team's first pole position on American soil.
However, Drayson – starting the car – found himself swamped at the start as he fell back to fourth in the opening exchanges, running wide shortly after being passed by David Brabham.
Around the hour mark of the two-hour, 45-minutes race, a few minutes after the lightning pace at the front of the field had seen Drayson lapped by the leaders, the car span into the gravel after contact with no.88 Porsche, running in the slower GT Challenge class.
Whilst still stationary in the gravel, awaiting recovering Drayson was able to diagnose a serious steering problem and one the car had been recovered under a full course caution he was able to limp the Lola coupe back to the pits for a second opinion. They immediately recognised the problem as a broken right-side steering arm, which they replaced, sending Jonny Cocker back out to try and keep the team within the 70% cut-off to take points for the championship.
But Cocker was able to tell that the steering arm was not the only damage from the incident, the car's power steering unpredictable to the point of being dangerous.
The power steering motor was a harder problem to solve than the steering arm and though the team laboured to try and fix the problem time eventually ran out on them, the team, sadly falling short of 70% margin meaning they left Ohio with nothing to show for undoubtedly their best weekend of the season to date.
The team will hope to take their Mid-Ohio pace to Road America in Wisconsin on August 22, with the races Canadian round at Mosport following just a week later.