Jonny Cocker braved torrential rain at Lime Rock Park, Connecticut to set the fourth fastest time in the LMP class in Drayson Racing's Lola coupe.
The 20-minute session around the 1.5mile ring saw the Yorkshire native twice rise up to third in the standings among the small but competitive field in the American Le Mans Series' premier class, before falling back to fourth.
The initial time he set in the Judd-engined car was followed by Cocker pulling the car in for the team to make adjustments to the car as they tried to keep ahead of the treacherous New England conditions. The changes worked, Cocker improving on his time to haul the car temporarily back to third, before pushing to improve his time and the team's standings further.
However, Cocker's challenge was realistically ended by an off at turn one which, though it caused only cosmetic damage. By the time the checkered fell Cocker's time had fallen to fourth behind the Highcroft, Cytosport and Dyson entries.
The rain, as Cocker described, made for the combined prototype class even more competitive; “The P2 cars work really well in these wet conditions due to the narrow tyres and light weight. We knew it was going to be tough to beat those guys. Throughout practice, conditions were very changeable. We had a good balance on the car and were feeling confident for qualifying.”
“Just before the LMP qualifying session the conditions worsened dramatically and as a result we really struggled to find a nice balance in the session. For the conditions I was happy with the lap. Just a shame we missed the driest part of the session at the end. We feel confident for the race and looking forward to driving the car in the dry. We should have a good car in the dry.” said team manager Dale White. “I think Jonny and the crew did a great job of getting the most out of the car under the circumstances and I am looking forward to racing the car tomorrow. It is especially nice to have [co-owner] Paul [Drayson] back in the car. It doesn’t feel right when Paul isn’t driving the Drayson Racing entry.”
“These have been some of the most challenging conditions we have had to run in. It is certainly the worst we’ve ever qualified in,”
The one-hour, 45-minute race should see far better conditions where team Drayson who is returning to the cockpit having had to sit out the previous ALMS round.
The race will covered live from the track by www.radiolemans.com, with live timing and scoring available from the ALMS' official website, www.americanlemans.com.