Paul Drayson has enjoyed his first taste of an LMP1 prototype machine after spending ten laps at the wheel of the factory #007 Lola-Aston Martin during testing in the Algarve.
Drayson was at the circuit with his own Drayson Racing team for a 24 hour test with its Aston Martin Vantage, but was also offered the opportunity to get behind the wheel of the works LMP1 machine – which took victory on its Le Mans Series debut in Barcelona last month.
"I was delighted to have the opportunity to test the 007 Aston Martin LM P1 car during the AMR 24 hour test at Algarve recently,” he said. “Of course, I was mindful that this is the Le Mans 24 hours' car and I really didn't want to bend it only six weeks before the big race. So, I built up carefully. But after 10 laps, I really felt I was starting to get the hang of it. It was my first drive in a prototype and it was an unforgettable experience.
“From the front it looks a bit like a fighter jet - and it goes like one too! Having flown in the backseat of a couple of the RAF's finest, I feel qualified to make the comparison. The power and grip are phenomenal of course but nothing prepared me for the buzz you get coming out of the last turn and accelerating all the way down the main straight; 295kph/183 mph and it felt like it! I absolutely loved it. Forward visibility around the wheel arches was better than I expected and the whole feel of the car was very solid, very well prepared.
“As for the sound; listening to that screaming V12 go past is really something. Hearing it at full chat behind your head is something else. It certainly gave me a taste of what I'd like to race in the future. An excellent example of British race car engineering. No wonder we are the best in the world.”