Seven Lola sportscars will make the annual pilgrimage to Le Mans this June for the world’s most famous endurance race – the 76th running of the Le Mans 24 Hours. It will be the biggest Lola presence at Le Mans since 1979. Three LMP1 and four LMP2 Lola cars will battle it out in the 55 car field on 14/15 June. Lola’s all-new LMP1 and LMP2 Coupe designs will make their debut at La Sarthe, with the Lola LMP1 Charouz Racing System Team, powered by an Aston Martin engine and the Lola LMP2 Speedy Racing Team Sebah.

Open top Lola entries in LMP1 are the Chamberlain-Synergy Motorsport Lola-AER and the Charouz Lola-Judd that finished 7th overall in last year’s running of the race. This car will be fielded for ALMS Cytosport pairing Greg Pickett and Klaus Graff, both of whom will be joined by 1988 Le Mans winner Jan Lammers.

In LMP2, double Le Mans champions RML return with the regular trio of Mike Newton, Tommy Erdos and Andy Wallace. Fellow automatic entries Quifel-ASM enter a Lola-AER on Dunlop tyres with drivers Guy Smith (2003 winner), former GP2 front runner Olivier Pla and team regular Miguel Amaral. The newly named Kruse Schiller Motorsport team will race with the ex-Fernandez Lola LMP2 car, powered by the new Mazda engine.

Lola will be aiming for a record fifth consecutive LMP2 class victory and a top finish in the LMP1 category in its 50th anniversary year.

Lola founder Eric Broadley took the company to Le Mans for the first time in 1960, with a MK1 driven by Peter Ashdown and Charles Vögele. Three years later the Lola Mk6 was remarkably driven all the way to the world’s toughest endurance race by road from Lola’s factory in Bromley and raced by David Hobbs and Dickie Attwood. Ford were so impressed with the design that the Mk6 became the inspiration behind the world famous Ford GT40.

In 2008 Lola sportscars are thriving with more prototypes in the LMP1 and LMP2 classes than any of its rivals. The modern Lola Group is also much more than just motorsport, with many other industries such as Aerospace, Defence, Communications, Automotive and Space serviced by Lola’s vast experience in the design and manufacturing of composites.

Lola sportscars will be in action at the official Le Mans Series test days at the Paul Ricard circuit on 2/3 March.

The Le Mans 24 Hours test day takes place on Sunday 1st June, while the race itself starts on the afternoon of 14th June.

The Charouz Racing System Team testing their Aston Martin-engined LMP1 car at Snetterton. (Picture David Lord)

The RML team will be hoping to continue their run of success at Le Mans. (Picture mg-lola.com)

Kruse Schiller Motorsport will be running this ex-Fernandez LMP2 car. (Picture americanlemans.com)

The Quifel ASM B05/40 AER seen at Valencia last year. (Picture John Brooks)