The 50th anniversary of Lola Cars will be marked during the Masters Festival at Brands Hatch over the Whitsun Bank Holiday weekend (24-26 May).

Lola will give its backing to two rounds of the World Sportscar Masters series on the superb Grand Prix circuit at the famous Kent venue. The entry for the races is likely to include a number of Lolas, including the thundering T70Mk3B and the nimble 2-litre T210s and T212s.

The races will be titled 'The Lola 50th Anniversary Trophy for World Sportscar Masters', and special trophies will be provided for the top three finishers in each of the two half-hour races.

The event will celebrate 50 years since Eric Broadley gave up his job as a quantity surveyor and started production of the Lola Mk1 sports-racing car. The Mk1 prototype was built at Maurice Gomm's workshops in West Byfleet during 1958. Over the next four years, 32 examples of the Mk1 were built locally to Brands Hatch at Rob Rushbrook's works at Bromley. Lola production later moved to Huntingdon. Since then, Lola has enjoyed global success in single-seater and sports car racing and remains one of the leading race car manufacturers in the world.

The Mk1, which commonly used the 1100cc Coventry Climax engine, was very successful and was the first sports car of any engine size to lap the Brands Hatch Indy circuit in less than a minute. Subject to timetabling, it is hoped to re-create that sub-60s lap with a Lola Mk1 during the Masters Festival.

"We're very pleased to join with Lola in celebrating a remarkable 50 years of racing car construction," said Christopher Tate of the Masters Racing Series. "It is fitting to have Lola support for World Sportscar Masters, and there is a good chance of a Lola claiming a podium finish."

The Lola T70 has a rich history of competing on the fabled Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit. In 1967 John Surtees and David Hobbs secured pole position for a round of the International Championship for Manufacturers in a works entered T70 Mk3. A year later, Jo Bonnier and Sten Axelsson finished sixth behind the works Ford GT40s and Porsche 907s.

The 1969 event boasted no less than eight Lolas, six of the new MkIIIB designs and two of the existing Mk3's. Chris Craft and Eric Liddell finished second in class at the end of the gruelling six-hour classic.

At the beginning of the 2-litre period of sports car history in 1971, Lola was characteristically ahead of the game with the Lola-Cosworth T212 finishing second in class at Brands with Jo Bonnier and Peter Westbury. A year later saw triumph for Guy Edwards and David Hobbs in a T290.

All pictures Lola Heritage.

Paul Hawkins in his 1969 T70 MkIIIB on his way to victory in the Guards Trophy, Snetterton.

The first Lola T210 on display.

Guy Edwards on the grid in his T212.

Edwards again, this time in his T290 in 1972.