Drayson Leads, CytoSport Out After Mid-Ohio Practices

August 6, 2010

Drayson Leads, CytoSport Out After Mid-Ohio Practices

August 6, 2010

The No. 8 Drayson Lola Judd Coupe and the No. 99 Green Earth Team Gunnar Oreca FLM09. Photo credit: Rick Dole for Michelin North America

Two practice sessions are in the books at the 2.25-mile, 13-turn Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, which continues to rubber in from a green track. Unfortunately, one of the top contenders for the overall win is already out of the running before the session even got going.

Thursday’s two-hour promoter test session nearly passed without a major incident, but the hot streak for Muscle Milk Team CytoSport ended with a bang with only 10 minutes left in the session.

Team owner and co-driver Greg Pickett was aboard the team’s Porsche RS Spyder when a mechanical failure struck. Pickett went straight off at Turn 4, the right-hand turn at the end of the long backstraight. After nosing into the tire barrier, the car flipped upside down and came to rest atop the barrier.

Due to non-repairable tub damage, the Lime Rock winners were forced to withdraw from Saturday’s race. Prior to the accident, Pickett’s teammate Klaus Graf had set the fastest time of the session at 1:12.841. Highcroft HPD jumped to second at the end of the session at 1:13.053, David Brabham and Simon Pagenaud behind the wheel.

Greg Pickett and the Muscle Milk Team CytoSport entry are out of this weekend's race at Mid-Ohio after a devastating practice accident. Photo credit: Rick Dole for Michelin North America

In GT, Corvette Racing topped the timesheets with Oliver Gavin in the No. 4 Corvette ZR1 at 1:20.868. Gavin’s lap time beat last year’s pole time of 1:21.022 set by Joerg Bergmeister in the Flying Lizard Porsche. The No. 90 Rahal Letterman BMW was second followed by the No. 3 Corvette.

On Friday morning, times started to drop. Jonny Cocker set the bar at a 1:12.049 in the Drayson Racing Lola Judd Coupe to lead LMP, 0.712 of a second ahead of the Dyson Racing Lola Mazda Coupe with the fastest time set by Guy Smith. Intersport Lola was third with Jon Field and David Brabham fourth in the Patron Highcroft HPD ARX 01-c.

GT is especially tight between the four championship-contending manufacturers heading into qualifying. The No. 92 Rahal Letterman BMW set the fastest time at 1:20.680, edging the Nos. 62 and 61 Risi Competizione Ferraris. The No. 90 Rahal Letterman BMW was fourth ahead of the No. 4 Corvette. The top five in GT are separated by just 0.302 of a second, and each beat Bergmeister’s 2009 pole time.

Add in the two Flying Lizard Porsches, the No. 3 Corvette and the No. 02 Extreme Speed Ferrari driven by Guy Cosmo and Ed Brown, and the class is still tighter. Just 0.737 of a second covered the top nine in class.

Gunnar Jeannette (LMPC) and Jeroen Bleekemolen (GTC) led the Challenge classes. A one-hour practice before qualifying starts at 12:45 p.m. ET with qualifying to follow at 1:55 p.m., and both will be live streamed on the American Le Mans Series website, americanlemans.com.

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