One More Step

August 4, 2010

One More Step

August 4, 2010

Drayson Racing's Lola Judd Coupe at Le Mans earlier in 2010. Photo credit: Rick Dole for Michelin North America

It seems an unusual step from the halls of the British Parliament to the top step of the American Le Mans Series podium. On the other hand, perhaps not.

Paul, Lord Drayson (pictured above) the energetic, personable recent member of the United Kingdom Parliament’s House of Lords and Minister for Science and Innovation in the UK Government is also Paul Drayson, American Le Mans Series team owner/driver. His car is easy to spot; it is the British racing green car, adorned proudly with the Union Jack on the engine cover.

One could politely suggest that he is having a better season on the racetrack than in government. His party lost out in the British elections this spring ending his service and freeing him to focus more time on his emerging racing team. There is little doubt that he is having more fun here.

“Now I can concentrate 100% on racing!” said Drayson. That free time is already paying dividends.

Bozeman, Montana’s Dale White, one of the most respected team leaders in the racing business heads the Drayson Racing Lola/Judd prototype program.

A technical innovator and superb planner with multiple ALMS GT2 and Le Mans championships on the boards, White and Paul Drayson have a clear plan for building a top team. With young British star Jonny Cocker sharing the drive with Drayson, and the irrepressible Emanuele Pirro, a five-time winner at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, aboard for the longer races, Drayson Racing is consistently moving up the grid.

After an impressive polewinning run at the Asian Le Mans series last fall, the young team has continued to grow.

Here in the 2010 ALMS competition, Drayson served notice at Sebring, mixing it up with the Peugeot diesels and Aston Martin V12 prototype en route to a fourth place finish. But it was at Miller Motorsports Park in July that Drayson Racing made a big step as Cocker qualified second and the team led 32 of the 96 laps to finish a strong second.

Long committed to ‘Green’ environmental causes, Drayson Racing captured the first MICHELIN® GREEN X® Challenge ‘Green’ racing award in Asia, at Okayama, Japan last fall. At Salt Lake City his team became the first to pair the Asian award with an American Le Mans Series MICHELIN® GREEN X® Challenge win.

“Second place at Salt Lake City, fastest lap and the MICHELIN® GREEN X® Challenge prototype winners; a most excellent haul of trophies. I was very proud of the whole team’s performance at Salt Lake City and it bodes well for the future,” said Paul Drayson.

“After our second place at Salt Lake, I’m hungry for a win now and from now on my total focus will be on racing and building Drayson Racing into a winning ALMS team and a leading developer of green race technology. It brings a big smile to my face just thinking about it,” said Drayson.

With his team already up on the second step of the ALMS podium, Drayson now has just one-step to go. It is a big step, but so is moving from Parliament to the podium in just four races.

This story appears in the Mid-Ohio issue of The Alley, Michelin’s trackside publication, and can be picked up around the paddock at the track.

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