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Cocker takes Drayson to maiden pole at Okayama

Jonny Cocker puts Drayson Racing on pole at Okayama for the Asian Le Mans Series event
Drayson Racing has secured its maiden pole position after Jonny Cocker led the way in qualifying for the inaugural Asian Le Mans Series event at the Okayama circuit in Japan.

Cocker posted a quickest time of 1min 19.143secs at the wheel of the Lola Coupe Judd he will share with team boss Paul Drayson to give the British outfit pole for the first time in what will be only its third event with the car after electing to make the move up from GT2 to LMP1.

"Fantastic! Basically unbelievable," he said. "With the nature of the circuit and the big steps we made with the car at Laguna we knew that we had a good chance this weekend to be quick. It's just an unbelievable feeling for me as a driver to get the pole but everybody deserves this so much.

"Everybody that has been involved in the programme has worked so hard under what has been a very trying year at times. It shows that hard work, dedication and a good team will come through in the end."

The young Brit emerged just over a tenth of a second quicker than Christophe Tinseau in the Sora Racing Pescarolo as Judd-powered machinery locked out the front row of the grid, while Nicolas Lapierre was third quickest for Oreca and Stefan Mucke fourth in the lone Aston Martin Racing entry. The two Kolles Audi R10s rounded out the top six on the grid.

In LMP2, the OAK Racing Pescarolo emerged quickest of the two cars entered ahead of the Ibanez Racing Courage, while GT1 pole went to the Hitotsuyama Team Nova Aston Martin DBR9 – only for the car to then be demoted to the rear of the field for a technical infringement. As a result, the Larbre Saleen will start from class pole in tenth overall.

GT2 pole went to the Hong Kong Racing Aston Martin Vantage thanks to Czech driver Tomas Enge, but the car was also demoted to the rear of the field which hands pole to the Felbermayr-Proton Porsche of Marc Lieb and Wolf Henzler.

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