Lola sportscars were in action during the official test day for the world famous
Le Mans 24 Hours this weekend. A quartet of Lola B05/40 chassis and one of the
all-new B06/10 LMP1 cars were fine- tuning for the greatest endurance sportscar
race on earth, which takes place over the weekend of 17/18 June.
RML SET PACE IN LMP2
Reigning LMP2 winners RML Group topped the times in their category with Tommy Erdos setting a best lap of 3m41.873s, a lap which proved to be some three seconds faster than was set on the same day 12 months previously and also faster than the LMP2 pole set for the race itself.
Andy Wallace has joined the familiar partnership of Erdos and Newton for this years race, although the ultra experienced Wallace was not present at Le Mans, as he had Grand -Am commitments at Watkins Glen. His first taste of the AER engined MG-Lola will be on the first day of qualifying, on Wednesday week.
Tommy Erdos was very satisfied with the way the day went for the team and said: “We were just doing our own thing, working on set-ups. The car was running really well. Mike (Newton) did a lot of laps and is feeling very good about the car.”
B06/10 MAKES LA SARTHE DEBUT
Chamberlain Synergy’s LMP1 chassis set the ninth fastest time overall, with Bob Berridge setting the time. The team has re-built the B06/10 after Peter Owen’s accident at Spa three weeks ago. Despite a spin each for Berridge and Owen, the team were upbeat about their preparation for the race and reigning LMES LMP2 champion Gareth Evans said: “The car feels very good indeed. Very responsive to the few changes we made to it, especially with traction out of the slow speed corners. I just wanted a few easy laps and that is what we accomplished. But there wasn't a lap out there when I didn't see a car with a puncture, coming back slowly. A Belmondo had one right in front of me. Creation had one too.”
The team were also using the new C spec version of the AER twin turbo engine which has undergone work on the camshafts and cam timing, in order for optimisation for the 101.6 spec fuel.
IBERIAN LMP2 DRAMA
The teams LMP2 entry, shared with the Portuguese ASM team started the day well with both Miguel Angel De Castro and Miguel Amaral completing trouble free stints. However, at approximately 11.15, Angel Burgueno crashed at Tertre Rouge and brought out the red flag. The Spaniard was one of the stars of the recent Spa 1000kms when he and his team mates finished 4th overall and won the LMP2 class.
Sadly the car was not able to be repaired at the track but will be ready for race week. Burgueno, unfortunately, will be unable to take part, as he did not complete the required number of laps on his first visit to the track.
INTERSPORT FULL OF CONFIDENCE
Intersport Racing made the long trip across the Atlantic for their fourth consecutive assault on the great race. Clint Field, Liz Halliday and Duncan Dayton are all familiar Lola sportscar drivers and will be looking to continue an excellent start to the season. that has so far seen them take class wins at Sebring and Houston and lead the ALMS LMP2 points table.
"The car is really good. The 3:49 lap was on hard tyres, and I've only done seven laps,” said a happy Clint Field. “ It feels very comfortable. I haven't raced here for two years, and my best lap then was a 3:59 in the old (LMP1 / 675 B01/60) car. I'd forgotten how nice a track it is. I think we can do a 3:45 on softer tyres.”
BINNIE MAKE SOLID START
Binnie Motorsports undertake there first Le Mans 24 Hours with the Zytek engined B05/40 this month. Bill Binnie has opted for experience in his driving team with Allen Timpany being joined by Yojiro Terada who will be starting his 27th Le Mans 24 Hours this year.
The car set a best lap of 3m55.197s with Binnie at the wheel. The American/Scot is hoping that they can re-create the 2003 event when he partnered Rick Sutherland and Clint Field to take the first ever LMP2 class win in the Lola B2K/40.
All five Huntingdon built cars now look forward to ‘Le Mans week’, which begins with scrutineering in the famous Place De Jacobins in downtown Le Mans. Qualifying begins on Wednesday evening with sessions at 19.00-21.00 and 22.00-00.00 local time. The race itself begins at 17.00 local time on Saturday 17th June.
Team Dyson report
Intersport Racing report
Liz Halliday site
LOLA Report: Intersport take Sebring glory
INTERSPORT LOLA SCOOPS LMP2 VICTORY AND FINISH 2ND OVERALL
Lola sportscars were once again in victory lane at the 54th running of the Sebring 12 hours over the weekend. Jon Field, his son Clint and Liz Halliday celebrated a superb win in the LMP2 class and a second placing overall.
Three different models of Huntingdon built sports-prototypes were competing on the famous airfield in Florida. While the all-new B06/10 LMP1 design finished 2nd in its class on its debut, the similarly AER powered B05/40 LMP2 car run by Intersport Racing started the season with its best ever result at Sebring. Completing a highly successful day for Lola was Binnie Motorsport who made it a 1-3 finish in LMP2, sandwiching one of the Penske Porsches.
Clint Field, the reigning LMP2 champion, had a scare early in the race when Frank Biela spun his Audi in the second hour, causing the American to take avoiding action on the grass. Later, the drivers took the chequered flag, 22 laps ahead of the second in class Porsche RS Spyder of Sascha Maassen, Lucas Luhr and Emmanuel Collard.
“This was a special race as we were sandwiched between the Audi drivers and the Corvette, and it was amazing beating those guys to claim runners-up spot. Full credit to my team mates, the team, Lola and AER,” said a delighted Jon Field from the podium.
Liz Halliday became the highest placing woman driver ever at Sebring, beating Lynn St James who had managed fifth overall in 1983 in a Nimrod C2. Oddly, Liz’s second place was also appreciated by race winner Allan McNish, as the Scot had lent a pair of his gloves to the Californian immediately before the start of the race!”
Jon’s son and team mate Clint Field added: “It was a great day and I am delighted for the team, Jon and Liz. We now need to capitalise on this result for the next race in Houston on 13th May. To win our class and finish second overall behind the works Audi team is a major achievement.”
DYSON DELIGHT WITH NEW LOLA LMP1
The new B06/10 AER package finished second in the LMP1 category in the hands of James Weaver, Butch Leitzinger and Andy Wallace, in the #16 Dyson entry. The car had a technical problem, which caused both of the team’s cars to temporarily stop out on the circuit, but neither was delayed for long. “I am very impressed with our guys, with Lola and also AER who have done a superb job with this fantastic car,” said Dyson team owner/manager Rob Dyson. “We have had only six days of testing prior to coming here, and this is the first time that the engine and chassis combination has run in anger. A year ago the engine was a blank sheet of paper, and we started to run it something like three months ago.”
Weaver was full of praise for the new package. “It is a very good car, and we can win races with it,” said the Englishman. “I think with development we can be on the pace the Audis showed today. We did not have too many problems during this race. We had a brake pipe problem and we damaged the floor running over some concrete somewhere but that was it and before this race, we had never run more than 12 laps at a time. It is an extraordinary achievement.”
The Audi has miles and miles of testing under its belt before it came here for the gruelling 12-hours of Sebring, but we have shown that with this good engine and chassis combination, we can be very competitive,” concluded Weaver.
The # 20 Lola B06/10 of Chris Dyson and Guy Smith ended up retiring seven and a half hours into the race after a competitive but eventful run. Guy Smith started the race and ran as high as third, but two punctures and software glitches dropped the car to thirty-first. Delighted with his car’s race setup, the 2003 Le Mans winner had moved the car back up to eighth by the end of his double stint. Chris Dyson took over and continued the team’s progress, running as high as fifth overall before a problem interrupted the second half of the American’s double stint. Dyson handed the car back to Smith, but two hours were lost replacing a supply-side oil pump and repairing a fuel leak. Unfortunately, the car was retired forty minutes after returning to action with overheating caused by debris in the radiator.
BINNIE TAKE IMPRESSIVE LMP2 PODIUM PLACE
Third in the LMP2 class was the Binnie Motorsports team of Bill Binnie, Rick Sutherland and Allen Timpany in their Zytek-powered Lola B05/40. “It is great that Binnie has worked hard to reverse his fortunes from last year,” said Lola’s David Scotney. “They have made a very good engine choice this year, and that has paid off for them this weekend.”
“But for a water hose clip we’d have been second but we’re very pleased indeed with that result,” confirmed Bill Binnie. “We can move forward now on the back of that.
I’m absolutely delighted for Intersport. That was a fantastic race by all of them, ” he sportingly acknowledged.
Binnie Motorsport will be in action in the Le Mans 24 Hours in June as well as selected Le Mans Series and ALMS races throughout the year.
HIGHCROFT AND AUTOCON POSITIVE FOR COMING SEASON
The Highcroft Racing Lola B01/60 AER of Duncan Dayton, Rick Knoop and Gregor Fisken, retired as a precautionary measure when the car was found to have a fuel leak, believed to be a ruptured fuel tank.
"We had a minor spin on oil and we lost several laps due to a misfire, but then we climbed up and we were ready to get back into the top 20 overall when we had to drop out,” said Gregor Fisken.
"Duncan was able to qualify quickest of the non-new generation Prototypes, and he was running fifth or sixth when he spun in oil. We regouped and we were knocking on the door of the top 20,” continued the Scot.
The similar Autocon Lola B01/60-AER of Michael Lewis, Chris McMurry and Bryan Willman stopped out on track with a suspected oil fire in the fifth hour of the 12-hour race.
LOLA B06/10’S HIT EUROPE
The spectacular new Lola B06/10 LMP1 car will make its European public debut at Paul Ricard next week in the hands of Synergy Chamberlain who will contest both the LMS and 24 Le Mans 24 Hours.
The car tested last week ay Estoril and ran faultlessly for two days, much to the delight of team principal and driver Bob Berridge. The car will then go on to Istabul for its competitive European debut on April 7-9.
Lola Cars International Ltd are currently taking deposits on both the LMP1 and LMP2 cars. For further information please contact Sam Smith or Nick Jordan on +44 (0) 1480 359590 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Pos Drivers Car Class Laps Gap
1 Capello, Kristensen, McNish Audi R10 TDI Power P1 349
2 Field, Halliday, Field Lola B05/40 AER P2 345 4 Laps
3 Gavin, Beretta, Magnussen Corvette C6-R GT1 338 11 Laps
4 Bright, Lamy, Sarrazin Aston Martin DB9 GT1 337 12 Laps
5 Weaver, Leitzinger, Wallace Lola B06/10 AER P1 336 13 Laps
6 Enge, Turner, Kiesa Aston Martin DB9 GT1 324 25 Laps
7 Fellows, O’Connell, Papis Corvette C6-R GT1 324 26 Laps
8 Maassen, Luhr, Collard Porsche RS Spyder P2 323 26 Laps
9 Maxwell, Brabham, Bourdais Panoz Esperante GTLM GT2 320 29 Laps
10 vanOverbeek, Fogarty, Lieb Porsche 911 GT3 RSR GT2 320 30 Laps
12 Binnie, Timpany, Sutherland Lola B05/40 Zytek P2 317 32 Laps
27 Dyson, Smith Lola B06/10 AER P1 173 176 Laps
29 Dayton, Fisken, Knoop Lola EX257 AER P1 128 221 Laps
31 Lewis, McMurry, Willman Lola EX257 AER P1 121 228 Laps