Jason Workman, Scott Bradley, Andrew Davis and the MergeCare/Essex Racing Lola-Nissan were credited with fourth place in the LMP675 class at the Petit Le Mans on the weekend, but team came closer to causing an upset than the result may show.

With series leader Chris Dyson adding to his points tally with a second-place finish and Workman unable to win the division race, the championship went to the Lola-MG driver, but things were closer than that.

In order to win the championship, Workman had to win the LMP675 class and Dyson fail to score and, at the three-quarter stage, it looked as though Workman's chances of success were becoming more plausible. Dyson had found some trouble and was charging hard in order to finish the 70 per cent distance required in order to qualify for points, while the MergeCare Lola was in first place in the division.

If the Petit Le Mans had been a seven-hour race, the season's results may have been entirely different, but the Road Atlanta race is a near ten-hour challenge, contested over 1000 miles, and, like many endurance races, the final laps often dictate the outcome.

All season long, it had been reliability that had brought Workman close to the possibility of a championship. Together, Workman and the Nissan-powered Lola had scored points in all but one event in, with no other team showing such reliability. Workman and his team-mates were thus anticipating that the ten-hour endurance run might also work in their favour - this time bringing their first outright LMP675 victory of the season.

Heading into the final stages of the event, that was exactly what was occurring, but, at 7-25pm, the Essex Racing entry lost oil pressure. Pulling into the pits, the team discovered that an oil coupling had failed and all the oil had been pumped out of the engine. The damage had been done.

"Even the Nissan can't run without oil," an excusably disappointed Workman noted.

Some 30 minutes later, Dyson and the Dyson Racing Lola crossed the 70 per cent distance threshold, securing the LMP675 championship.

"I congratulate Chris on the championship," Workman said sportingly once the outcome was known, "He really deserves it - and the Dyson team deserve it. They were obviously the team to beat this season. We were trying hard to sneak in and grab the championship from under their noses at the last race of the season, but they were up to the challenge and kept the crown for themselves.

"It was a great season and I'm extremely happy to have been a part of it. Thanks to MergeCare, my crew, to Michael Gue and Tony Dowe of Essex Racing and all my co-drivers all season long who contributed to our success. It's been the best year of my career."

 

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