Six Lola LMP cars were in action at the Silverstone 1000kms over the weekend collecting three points scoring positions and one podium success in the gruelling endurance event.
The Portuguese Quifel-ASM team finished 3rd in the LMP2 class to move a point closer to the RML team (also running a Lola) in the title fight. With one race remaining, at Interlagos in November, the Huntingdon constructor is guaranteed the LMP2 title.
Three of Lola’s LMP2 entries finished the 1000kms race with RML in 4th and Binnie finishing in 5th
In the LMP1 class, the Charouz Lola B07/17-Judd briefly led the race early on before later on enjoying a titanic fight for 2nd place with the Pescarolo Judd of Emanuel Collard in the last hour. Despite being on old rubber as opposed to Collard’s fresh Michelins, Mucke held on to 2nd place. Eventually however, contact between a GT1 car and the Mucke’s Lola resulted in a broken steering arm and retirement.
“The car was superb all weekend except for when the tyres were finished. It would have been hard to finish the race anyway but we got track position on the Pescarolo and it was fun while it lasted,” concluded Mucke.
Earlier Mucke and his team mate Jan Charouz had both pulled off some sensational overtaking moves, particularly young Charouz who took the Rollcentre Pescarolo around the outside of the Brooklands left hander in the third hour.
Chamberlain Synergy enjoyed a terrific first hour to the race with Bob Berridge doing stirling work in the yellow, AER engined Lola B06/10. Pitting under the safety car in the early exchanges, Berridge was at one stage running in third position but like so many others during the race was forced to pit with damaged rear bodywork. This lost the car a lot of positions but solid driving by Gareth Evans ensured that when Peter Owen took over in the fourth hour they were in a comfortable 9th place in LMP1. An off track excursion at Priory early on his stint lost Owen a considerable amount of time and despite rejoining the fray the Chamberlain Synergy car did not complete the necessary laps to be classified.
Quifel-ASM started the race in 4th place on the LMP2 grid, but Miguel Angel De Castro soon cut through the pack to take the lead. Battling eagerly with Tommy Erdos in the RML Lola-MG, De Castro was forced to pit just after the 90 minute mark with damage to the louvers of his bodywork. The rapid Spaniard then had an incident on his in-lap at the Luffield complex with a GT2 Ferrari before handing over to Miguel Amaral.
Despite the lost time, the Dunlop shod Lola continued un-troubled to the chequered flag with Angel Burgueno securing the final rung of the podium to ensure that the points gap to the RML Lola-MG is just 6 heading to Brazil.
“My stints were very enjoyable but hard work,” said De Castro after his efforts. “The car felt very nice everywhere and the grip level was excellent. I had some problems with traffic during the race with Erdos but it was all fair racing to me.”
RML were ultimately frustrated with their 4th place finish after qualifying a brilliant 5th overall on the starting grid. Tommy Erdos opened the race with his usual flawless performance, battling with De Castro’s Lola for the lead until, like the ASM Lola, he was forced to pit for repairs after contact with a GT car at Brooklands necessitated attention to the rear legalising panels on his Lola bodywork.
Erdos’ team mate Mike Newton took over the controls at the 2hrs 45 minute mark and drove another capable and consistent double stint before handing back to Erdos for the final 90 minutes of the race. Another repair cost the team more positions but some stunning lap times and equally superb passing moves by Erdos put the red, white and blue Lola-MG back in to contention in the closing stages to eventually secure 5 points for 4th in class.
Binnie Motorsports enjoyed their best qualifying showing of the year with Chris Buncombe placing a highly creditable 4th in LMP2. The impressive youngster from Somerset was running in the leading group during the first hour of the race until an electrical problem meant a frustratingly long pit stop for the Anglo/American team.
Despite this setback and subsequently some emergency repairs to bodywork, the team managed to get the car back in to contention. Allen Timpany and team owner, Bill Binnie (who survived a last lap tangle with the LNT Zytek) completed the race, with the former happy with the result, despite the delays earlier on.
“We were pretty pleased with our pace although in the final 15 laps of all our stints the rear tyres were starting to go off,” said Timpany. “The track was very dirty offline and that made it tough in traffic and didn’t help the tyre situation as we were constantly picking up bits of gravel.”
Sadly, despite a strong race in which they hovered on the brink of breaking in to the top three, Horag Racing were not classified in the final results after losing time midway through the event when team had to change the front bodywork when a lighting loom issue caused the lights to malfunction. This aside the team were still on schedule to finish in the points but a last lap puncture saw Eric Van De Poele wrongly come in to the pit lane rather than cross the finish line, meaning a non classification for the Swiss/German team.
Lola sportscars are next in action at Road Atlanta for the 10th anniversary running of the Petit Le Mans ALMS race on October 6th. The LMS finishes its season on November 11th with the Mil Milhas 1000 mile race at Interlagos in Brazil.
It will be just after this event that Lola will unveil it’s all-new B08/60 LMP1 Coupe for the first time. The first ever customer available LMP1 coupe will test before the end of the year in readiness for a full LMS and Le Mans campaign in 2008, Lola’s 50th anniversary year.
1 7 Team Peugeot Total GENE Marc/MINASSIAN Nicolas Peugeot 908 HDi FAP LMP1 ==195== 1:34.935
2 16 Pescarolo Sport COLLARD Emmanuel/BOULLION Jean-Christophe Pescarolo Judd LMP1 ==193== 1:37.912
3 18 Rollcentre Racing BARBOSA Joao/HALL Stuart/SHORT Martin Pescarolo Judd LMP1 ==191== 1:40.244
4 9 Creation Autosportif CAMPBELL WALTER Jamie/ORTIZ Felipe/KUROSAWA Haruki Creation CA07 Judd LMP1 ==188== 1:38.338
5 8 Team Peugeot Total LAMY Pedro/SARRAZIN Stephane Peugeot 908 HDi FAP LMP1 ==187== 1:35.783
6 32 Barazi Epsilon BARAZI Juan/VERGERS Michael/OJJEH Karim Zytek 07S Zytek LMP2 10:11.328 1:40.865
7 10 Arena Motorsport CHILTON Tom/CHILTON Max Zytek 07S Zytek LMP1 10:38.773 1:39.474
8 46 Team LNT KIMBER-SMITH Tom/WATTS Danny Zytek 07S Zytek LMP2 ==186== 1:38.626
9 40 Quifel ASM Team AMARAL Miguel/DE CASTRO Miguel AngelBURGENO Angel Lola B05/40 AER LMP2 ==185== 1:40.614
10 25 RML ERDOS Thomas/NEWTON Mike MG Lola EX264 AER LMP2 ==184== 1:40.653
11 15 Charouz Racing MUCKE Stefan/CHAROUZ Jan Lola B07/17 Judd LMP1 ==183== 1:38.730
12 27 Horag Racing LIENHARD Fredy/THEYS Didier/VAN DE POELE Eric Lola B05/40 Judd LMP2 16:39.996 1:42.102
13 31 Binnie Motorsports BINNIE BillTIMPANY AllenBUNCOMBE Chris Lola B05/40 Zytek LMP2 ==182== 1:40.974
14 35 Saulnier Racing NICOLET JacquesFILHOL AlainJOUANNY Bruce Courage LC75 AER LMP2 ==181== 1:42.069
15 55 Team Oreca ORTELLI StephaneAYARI Soheil Saleen S7-R LMGT1 1:31.875 1:45.926
16 59 Team Modena GARCIA AntonioTURNER Darren Aston Martin DBR9 LMGT1 ==180== 1:46.529
17 21 Bruichladdich Radical MOSELEY StuartGREAVES TimGREAVES Jacob Radical SR9 AER LMP2 7.614 1:41.381
18 73 Alphand Aventures BLANCHEMAIN Jean-LucDUMEZ SebastienVOSSE Vincent Corvette C5-R LMGT1 ==177== 1:48.200
19 45 Embassy Racing HUGHES WarrenMANNING DarrenCUNNINGHAM Neil Radical SR9 Judd LMP2 4.566 1:41.309
20 51 AMR Larbre FISKEN GregorZACCHIA SteveFRANCHI Gregory Aston Martin DBR9 LMGT1 ==175== 1:49.399
21 72 Alphand Aventures POLICAND JeromeGOUESLARD PatriceGAVIN Oliver Corvette C6.R LMGT1 ==174== 1:45.791
22 61 Racing Box PERAZZINI Pier GiuseppeCIOCI MarcoTAVANO Salvatore Saleen S7-R LMGT1 1:48.457 1:47.500
23 19 Chamberlain Synergy EVANS GarethBERRIDGE BobOWEN Peter Lola B06/10 AER LMP1 ==173== 1:41.116
24 96 Virgo Motorsport BELL RobertBRUNI Gianmaria Ferrari F430 GT LMGT2 7:15.383 1:51.523
25 12 Courage Competition FREI AlexanderCOCHET Jonathan Courage LC70 AER LMP1 7:23.145 1:38.445
26 76 Imsa Performance NARAC RaymondLIETZ Richard Porsche 997 GT3 RSR LMGT2 ==172== 1:51.453
27 85 Spyker Squadron HEZEMANS MikeDUMBRECK Peter Spyker C8 Spyder GT2R LMGT2 ==171== 1:53.314
28 94 Speedy Racing Team BELICCHI AndreaCHIESA AndreaKANE Jonny Spyker C8 Spyder GT2R LMGT2 ==170== 1:53.334
29 97 GPC Sport BONETTI AlessandroDE SIMONE FabrizioBOBBI Matteo Ferrari F430 GT LMGT2 ==169== 1:54.730
30 78 Scuderia Villorba CAFFI AlexZARDO Denny Ferrari F430 GT LMGT2 ==168== 1:55.172
31 83 GPC Sport DRUDI LucaMOWLEM JohnnyROSA Gabrio Ferrari F430 GT LMGT2 ==167== 1:54.168
32 92 Thierry Perrier HESNAULT PhilippeBARFF RobNEVOA Pedro Porsche 997 GT3 RSR LMGT2 ==164== 1:55.824
33 99 JMB Racing BASSO MauriceMcCORMICK BoDA CRUZ MARTINS Francisco Ferrari F430 GT LMGT2 ==163== 1:56.517
34 98 Ice Pol Racing Team LAMBERT YvesLEFORT ChristianKELDERS Christian Ferrari F430 GT LMGT2 10.786 1:56.207
35 50 AMR Larbre BOUCHUT ChristopheGARDEL GabrieleGOLLIN Fabrizio Aston Martin DBR9 LMGT1 ==160== 1:46.707
36 95 JWA DANIELS PaulCOX DaveCAMATHIAS Joel Porsche 997 GT3 RSR LMGT2 ==159== 1:54.766
37 89 Markland Racing THIIM KurtSORENSEN Henrik Moller Corvette C6 Z06 LMGT2 ==157== 1:58.826
38 77 Felbermayr-Proton LIEB MarcPOMPIDOU Xavier Porsche 997 GT3 RSR LMGT2 ==156== 1:52.539
39 84 Chad Peninsula Panoz HARTSHORNE JohnMcINERNEY SeanMcINERNEY Michael Panoz Esperante GTLM LMGT2 30:29.035 1:58.465
40 88 Felbermayr-Proton RIED ChristianFELBERMAYR Horst JrSTUCK Johannes Porsche 997 GT3 RSR LMGT2 ==150== 1:54.696
41 82 Team LNT TOMLINSON LawrenceDEAN Richard Panoz Esperante GTLM LMGT2 ==140== 1:55.146
42 90 Farnbacher Racing MASARATI PierEHRET PierreNIELSEN Lars Erik Porsche 997 GT3 RSR LMGT2 ==72== 1:54.830
43 17 Pescarolo Sport PRIMAT HaroldTINSEAU Christophe Pescarolo Judd LMP1 ==67== 1:40.683
44 79 Felbermayr-Proton FELBERMAYR Horst SrRIED GeroldCOLLIN Philip Porsche 996 GT3 RSR LMGT2 ==59== 1:59.801
45 20 Pierre Bruneau ROSTAN MarcBRUNEAU PierrePULLAN Simon Pilbeam MP93 Judd LMP2 ==57== 1:44.054