A non-motorsport related injury to driver/owner Paul Drayson has compelled Drayson Racing to make a last-minute alteration to its planned driver lineup for this weekend’s Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix. Former race-winner Emanuele Pirro will drive the No.8 Drayson Racing Lola Coupé with Judd Power with Jonny Cocker.
The five-time Le Mans winner won the inaugural race for the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón at Miller Motorsports Park. Pirro, who was victorious with Frank Biela for Audi in 2006, has made three starts at Utah and all in LMP1. He also had the fastest race lap in the 2006 race. The Miller Motorsports Park event is the fourth round of the American Le Mans Series championship.
Drayson sustained an injury to his right foot last Saturday. It is responding well to treatment, and he expects to be fit to race within two weeks. He will attend the Utah event in his role as owner. Every indication is Drayson will be back for the Northeast Grand Prix on July 21 at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut.
Cocker and Pirro are testing today at the 3.048-mile ‘outer loop’ of the Salt Lake City-area facility. The test is the first time the Lola-Judd has turned a wheel since taking the checkered flag at the 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 13. Six races remain in the American Le Mans Series season with five events coming within the next eight weeks. The arduous schedule puts a premium on preparation of both man and machine – a leading factor in the Paul Drayson’s decision to step out of the car this weekend.
The Dale White-managed organization currently stands fourth in the LMP class Team Championship. Drayson and Cocker are tied for seventh in the drivers’ championship, Pirro eighth.
Paul Drayson, Owner/Driver: “I am very disappointed to be sitting this one out. I know that Emanuele and the team will do an outstanding job and I’m looking forward to cheering them on from the pit lane.”
Dale White, Team Manager: “We will certainly have a new set of challenges without Paul in the car this weekend at Miller Motorsports Park. It will force us to adapt quickly but we have assembled a group here that can react to just this sort of thing in an instant; I think we proved that at Le Mans. We’re all incredibly disappointed that Paul won’t be able to race with Jonny this weekend but, fortunately, we were able to get Emanuele on very short notice. He has had to step out of a ride at the Le Mans Classic to do this but we can go into this race with the smallest amount of unknown variables and that is a huge advantage in a very disappointing scenario. We are looking forward to showing Paul what kind of team he has put together and do him proud this weekend with great anticipation of him being back in the car at Lime Rock.”
Drayson Racing and the rest of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón will kick off the summer stint with the Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix at Miller Motorsports Park. The two-hour, 45-minute race will begin at 2:35 p.m. MT on Sunday, July 11, with coverage beginning on SPEED at 4:30 p.m. ET. Live radio coverage will be available on American Le Mans Radio presented by Porsche – a production of Radio Show Limited – as well as Sirius Channel 127 and XM Channel 242. Visit the Series’ schedule page for ticket and accommodation information. Live Timing and Scoring, track schedule, entry list and much, much more will be available on Racehub at americanlemans.com.
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