Q & A with Jonathan Cocker

Q. How does it feel to know you will be stepping up to the LMP1 class?

Q & A with Jonathan Cocker

Jonathan Cocker: The GT and sportscar route has always been my thing, I've never really driven a single-seater and I don't really have a lot of interest in it. I find the competition and racing in sportscars much more exciting. So it is a dream come true to get the call-up to P1. It is the premier class. It's going to be a massive challenge for sure.

Q. How difficult are you expecting that graduation to be?

JC: Because of my lack of experience in single-seaters and high-downforce cars, it's going to take a little bit to get used to. But speaking to people like Darren [Turner] and Tomas [Enge], who have all driven GT cars and made the transition to LMP1, has given me a lot of confidence. I think we should be be absolutely fine.

It's a really exciting prospect to get into an LMP1 car for the first time at Petit Le Mans and going through that 10-hour race against the Peugeots and Audis, it's going to be a fantastic event.

Q. What will be the main differences between the GT2 car you're used to and the P1?

JC: In the slow-speed corners there's really not any difference between P1 and GT2. It's once the wings are working then it's a different story. At Petit Le Mans the first turn is going to be really fast, the last turn is incredibly fast. Getting the most out of the high-speed corners and the brakes is going to be the key to it really.

Transfering from GT cars to prototypes, considering the speed, is not actually as big a step as people think. Obviously I'll only be able to tell you that having done it for myself, but having spoken to a lot of drivers I think it will be tricky but it's all going to make sense. They're 15 to 20 seconds quicker per lap, but you don't need to drive 15 or 20 seconds faster to achieve that.

The cars are incredibly quick and technically advanced. That's one of the big reasons Drayson Racing has chosen the option to go into P1. It opens a lot of doors to green technology and innovation, and that's something that Paul [Drayson] really believes in heavily and would like to continue to push. In the future I'd expect that we're going to be running some really interesting things on that car.

Q. How soon do you think you can get up to speed and be competitive in the class?

JC: For sure it's going to vary driver to driver. I know the car can do it and I know I can do it, so it's just bringing the two together really. We've got a couple of days testing at Road Atlanta prior to the event that's going to be a good headstart for us. It's going to be a massive challenge, but I relish challenges and I think I work well under pressure so it's going to be fantastic.

I'm still a young driver and will be one of the youngest in P1, but I don't think that matters so much. I can call on my experience from the GT cars that I've driven and apply that to this car.

I appreciate the opportunity massively that Paul has given me and I'm reallly looking forward to getting in the car and learning what it's all about. It's going to be something that hopefully can continue for a long time ahead.

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Cocker eager for LMP1 challenge
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