Drayson Racing left Road America having taken every award available to them as the Anglo-American team won their first ever race is superlative fashion, dominating the American Le Mans (ALMS) weekend in Wisconsin.
The team – with drivers Paul Drayson and Jonny Cocker – topped every practice session, won pole position in qualifying and then set the fastest race lap on their way to winning the two-hour, 45-minute race. They even won the series' Michelin Green-X Challenge – awarded for completing the race in the most environmentally efficient way – another important accolade for the green conscious team.
Still the drivers had to fight for the win, Cocker wrestling the lead from the Cytosport Porsche in the final laps of the race to claim the checkered flag. “When I saw Klaus [Graf – in the Porsche] in the distance on the last lap I never expected to be able to catch up fast enough,” admitted Cocker. “He was unlucky with a bit of traffic and I was pushing absolutely flat out. I managed to make a move into Turn 13. I was not going to do anything to lose us second-place but I was not going to pass up the opportunity on that move.”
Cocker pulled away on the drag towards the finish line, beating Graf by a little over a second. The North Yorkshire native also set the fastest lap to the race (1:52.420) an astounding two seconds faster than anyone else in the field.
Cocker had had to fight back from fourth after an error earlier in his stint whilst trying to take second place led to him running wide at The Carousel. However, Cocker was able to launch a winning drive to take the win progressing from fourth to first in just 20 minutes.
Drayson, who is also co-owner of the team with his wife Elspeth, had started the race, settling into a rhythm in the British Racing Green Lola-Judd, matching the pace needed in the team's pre-arranged strategy.
One of the few remaining gentlemen drivers in the series’ premier class Paul drove almost half the race – one hour, 19 minutes – before handing over to Cocker.
“The last laps with four cars in a train for the LMP lead was so exciting and Jonny’s storming drive at the end was world-class,” beamed the ever-happy Drayson. “Everyone in Drayson Racing performed brilliantly today and I am so proud of the team we have created. Winning both the overall first place and the Michelin Green X Challenge vindicates everything we believe in. Today we showed you can be the fastest and the greenest. A great day!”
Fresh from their maiden win the team only have a week to wait before they attempt to add a second at Mosport International Raceways in Ontario, Canada.